ISPD presence in the AFRAN’23 meeting in Egypt

The ISPD team present at the AFRAN meeting in Cairo (composed of ISPD President Prof. Edwina Brown, Prof. Fred Finkelstein, Middle East Chapter chair and ISPD Dubai 2024 Congress co-Chair Prof Ali Abu-Alfa, Renal Nurse Dr. Grace Ngaruiya, and Saving Young Lives-SYL Chairperson Dr. Brett Cullis) witnessed the growing enthusiasm among African nephrologists for expanding access to PD in different parts of Africa. Through networking with local nephrologists, industry representatives, and some national societies, they also learned about the barriers to PD in the continent and how to break these down. The ISPD symposium and the joint ISN-ISPD Policy Forum were a space to share expertise and to exchange views on the way to push forward, and hopefully to inspire the participants to persevere in their efforts to grow PD in their hard circumstances.

At the same time, the ISPD team was inspired by the enthusiasm of the young nephrologists who participated in the PD catheter insertion training session arranged by Saving Young Lives, under the leadership of Brett Cullis, and supported locally by Rasha Darwish. Rasha is determined to get PD restarted in Egypt, no matter what it takes. As an example, she contacted several butchers until she got all the pig bellies necessary for the models for catheter insertion – not an easy task in a Muslim country! The number of attendees at the SYL workshop surpassed all expectations with over 50 people crowded round watching the first demonstration and then enjoying the opportunity of having a try individually.

The positive energy from the AFRAN participants bodes well for the growth of PD in Africa, and the insight that the ISPD got from participating in this event will enable our society to better assist these PD enthusiasts in Africa to have an impact in their countries, mostly through initiatives from the Education Committee, the International Liaison Committee, and the Scholarships and Awards Committee.