- The kidney transplant is the first-ever to be conducted in Tanzania, Africa.
- The surgery was carried out on a 30-year-old Tanzanian woman who was suffering from end-stage kidney disease and was on haemodialysis for over a year.
- The team from Tanzania was trained for the surgery in India.
Specialists at the Muhimbili National Hospital (MNH) in Dar es Salaam performed the first kidney transplant in a 30-year-old woman.
The hospital which has been functioning for more than a century has conducted an organ transplant for the first time. A team of nephrologists, anesthesiologists and critical care specialists from Delhi’s BLK Super Specialty Hospital, along with specialists from Tanzania, performed the surgery.
The surgery was carried out on a 30-year-old Tanzanian woman who was suffering from end-stage kidney disease and was on hemodialysis for over a year.
Dr H S Bhatyal, Head of Urology and Kidney Transplantation at BLK Super Speciality Hospital, who headed the team, said, “The recipient is a 30-year-old teacher. The donor is a 27-year-old man, the patient’s brother. Since it was the first case, we did not choose a high-risk patient.”
The retrieval and the kidney transplant which are two different surgeries took place simultaneously. Both went smoothly. Apart from two nephrologists, the anesthesia team and the critical care team were from India. The Tanzanian team helped us throughout.
Adopting Indian Law For Transplantation
With the absence of a local law on transplantation, the hospital had adopted the Indian law for conducting the surgery.
“In transplants, documentation is very important. We trained them on it. In the absence of a transplant law, they followed India’s Organ Transplant Act. Since there can be an illegal transplantation, this aspect too was taken care by the Indian team.”
After the patients were prepared, the documents were sent to India and the legal files were prepared in India.
Training In India
The preparation for the first transplant began a year ago, with the training of 33 doctors from Tanzania in Delhi.
“We have been preparing the grounds for the surgery for the last one year. We trained the team for three months when they came to India. After the training, we went to Tanzania thrice to check the readiness of the team to perform the transplant. The development of infrastructure was done in a phased manner,” said Bhatyal.
“In India, they were given in-depth training on how to carry out the transplant. They also were trained in creating all supportive services like CT scan and Doppler. After going back to their country, the team began preparing two operation theaters and one specialized transplant ICU. Finally, after the laboratory services were set up, we carried the reagents from India to test the tissues for transplantation,” Bhatyal added.
"Both donor and recipient are recuperating well and should return to normal activities soon. They are under our care and supervision," Sunil Prakash, Director & Head of Nephrology at BLK hospital said.
Indo- Tanzanian Relationship
With a broader aim to promote cooperation and mutual understanding between the two countries, the New Delhi-based hospital established partnerships with Muhimbili National Hospital as well as other healthcare institutes in the region such as the JakayaKikwete Cardiac Institute (JKCI) and Muhimbili Orthopaedic Institute.
"We have established credible linkage with countries in Africa through a number of collaborative programmes with an objective to build healthcare capacities locally in the countries such as Tanzania," Kapoor said.
"This surgery will certainly boost Indo-Tanzanian relationship in the field of healthcare," he added.