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JOURNAL ARTICLE

Peritoneal dialysis as a mode of treatment for acute kidney injury in sub-Saharan Africa

John Callegari, Sampson Antwi, Grzegorz Wystrychowski, Ewa Zukowska-Szczechowska, Nathan W Levin, Mary Carter
Blood Purification 2013, 36 (3-4): 226-30
24496195

BACKGROUND: Developing sustainable treatment programs for kidney failure in most countries of sub-Saharan Africa continues to remain an imposing challenge. While long-term renal replacement therapies in end-stage renal disease appear beyond national financial capabilities, there exist opportunities for a short-term and affordable treatment of acute kidney injury (AKI). Peritoneal dialysis (PD) is an effective and simpler modality compared to hemodialysis (HD) and can be performed without the need for machinery or electricity, making it an ideal choice in a low-resource setting.

METHODS: Since cost of treatment is the major obstacle, the goal is to develop a program that is cost effective. Developing an HD program requires a large capital investment by the hospital, needing water treatment systems and machinery and providing for their ongoing repair and maintenance. Gravity-driven PD is a simple, effective modality and can be performed in low-resource locales.

RESULTS: In a pediatric program that we started in the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital in Kumasi, Ghana, 28 patients have been treated with PD for AKI so far. Half of them were treated successfully and were discharged having fully recovered kidney function. Seven patients (25%) were determined to have end-stage renal disease, whereas 7 others (25%) died during hospitalization. In these cases, late presentation for dialysis may have contributed to the inability to recover.

CONCLUSION: For individuals and governments alike, who are concerned about the cost of providing or paying for dialysis, using PD to treat AKI is an effective and simpler modality compared to HD and can be performed without the need for machinery or electricity, making it an ideal choice in a low-resource setting.

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