This year’s theme for World Kidney Day on the 10th of March is ‘Kidney Health for All’ aimed at bridging the knowledge gap to better enable kidney care. Since its launch, SKC has been focused on pioneering the provision of comprehensive medical services for thousands of patients with varying types of kidney disease.
To further increase access to kidney services, renal care services across SEHA were recently integrated under SEHA Kidney Care in order to guarantee that patients receive the same caliber of high-quality care regardless of where they go. The benefits of integrating renal services across the network have already been seen, with increased access to care and the expansion of sub-specialty services. This is in addition to cross-training nurses to become renal specialists, with an ambition to build a locally sourced and sustainable renal nursing workforce, as well as closer integration between SEHA’s IT system and renal services.
Prof. Stephen Holt, Professor Director and Chief Executive Officer of SEHA Kidney Care, said: “Renal care has long been a priority focus area for SEHA, with SKC leading the way in providing comprehensive, patient-centered, preventive, supportive and curative services for renal patients. Providing care as a team, working together across the acute hospital, outpatient and community settings is already delivering better care. The regular information interchange we have and sharing of best practice has huge benefits in terms of accessing multiple opinions and discussion of difficult cases. We aim to provide the most up to date and informed care as well as focusing on compassion for our patients. Together, through our network, we are cementing SEHA’s position as the leading renal service provider within the nation and beyond.”
Dr Yousef Boobes, Consultant Nephrologist at SEHA Kidney Care, added, “At SEHA, we are committed to being with our patients every step of the way throughout their renal journey. The role of integration across the SEHA network helps us do this and further redefines the renal services we offer here in the UAE. Integration provides an effective and efficient data driven model that will benefit current and future patients and provide them with the best care possible.”
“Integration also positively impacts us as physicians too,” explains Dr. Mohamed Al Seiari Consultant Transplant Nephrologist at SEHA Kidney Care. “Working closely as a network ensures we are constantly sharing knowledge and international best practices with one another. With SEHA Kidney Care recently being recognized as a training center for the American Board for Transplant Certification, it means that we have access to this world-class expertise and training opportunities.”
A key area that SKC is spearheading is investing in opportunities to increase transplant activities, for patients locally and further afield. SEHA’s recent collaborations with international organizations and the Department of Health – Abu Dhabi have ensured that it is prepared for an influx in transplant volumes, with an increased deceased donor activity from 3 donors in 2017 to 39 donors in 2021, and more opportunities for live donation with the start of a paired kidney exchange program in partnership with Alliance for Paired Kidney Donation. Through these partnerships, kidney transplants, often resulting in enhanced quality of life, are now a viable option for many patients here in the UAE. SEHA’s Transplant Program has performed more than 52 pediatric kidney transplants and almost 393 transplants in total since its inception.
SKC also plays an important role in promoting kidney health for all through its on-going education and community awareness. Experts across SKC are urging the public to look after their kidneys as progression of chronic kidney disease can now be slowed and earlier diagnosis can lead to better outcomes.
Risk factors for chronic kidney disease are: Having a relative with kidney disease or having had kidney problems before Having diabetes Having any cardiovascular disease e.g., high blood pressure Smoking Being overweight Early kidney problems can often be successfully treated and monitored without the need to see a kidney specialist and can be addressed through managing blood pressure, stopping smoking and weight control.
In line with international standards, SEHA Kidney Care provides high-quality healthcare services to meets the needs of approximately 1300 dialysis patients (1200 of them are on hemodialysis and 100 on peritoneal dialysis) and offers advanced diagnostic and treatment methods. In the last year alone, SKC has completed approximately 180,000 dialysis sessions and is committed to providing kidney transplant options wherever possible.