Further development for Jamaica’s Transplant Programme
The new transplant centre at the Cornwall Regional Hospital will make further progress this week, with more kidney transplants planned, and support from a visiting volunteer medical team from the UK, courtesy of charity Transplant Links (TLC)
Medical history was made in Jamaica last year when three kidney transplants took place at CRH, the first step in the plan to develop a sustainable kidney transplant centre for the people of Jamaica with kidney failure.
A team of kidney transplant surgeons, kidney specialists, nurses and operating theatre technicians are giving up their spare time again to travel to Jamaica with TLC. TLC helps save lives by setting up kidney transplant programmes in countries that have the infrastructure but not the expertise to run a kidney transplant programme. A transplant gives patients the opportunity of a new lease of life away from a dialysis machine. The volunteer team is sponsored by Sandals Resorts who are accommodating them during their stay, and CHASE. The project is also receiving the support of the National Health Fund.
Dr Curtis Yeates, Consultant Kidney Specialist from the Cornwall Regional Hospital said “This is an important milestone in this project. There are many people suffering from kidney failure in Jamaica, mainly because there is so much diabetes and high blood pressure. A transplant is their only hope of a normal life again. We will be working with the TLC team from the UK over the next week to carry out more transplants and transfer the skills to Jamaican medical staff. We are very grateful for their help, and to Sandals, CHASE and NHF for helping to making it possible.”
“Three lives were transformed last year as a result of this project”. Dr Yeates continued. “A sister gave a kidney to her sister; a wife gave a kidney to her husband, and a sister gave her kidney to her brother. They have all done really well. Carrying on this work is essential so that many more with kidney failure can benefit.”
Mr Andrew Ready, Consultant Renal Transplant Surgeon from the UK and Medical Director of Transplant Links said “We are delighted to return to help with this project. This next set of transplants is vital for keeping the momentum of the project going, and for us to teach the skills so that many more Jamaicans can benefit in the future.”
Dr Jennie Jewitt-Harris, CEO of TLC said “The TLC team have an international reputation as highly skilled clinicians who are generous with their time and knowledge. This was acknowledged in Jamaica by the Health Minister Dr Fenton Ferguson who thanked them in person. We’re delighted to be back in Jamaica again supporting this important project.”
Fundraising continues as the plan is to continue the project and transfer of skills over the next 2 – 3 years.