A kidney transplant programme has been revived at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH), and Barbadians are being urged to consider becoming kidney donors.
This positive development for the approximately 1000 Barbadians suffering renal failure, and the additional hundreds needing dialysis treatments has come thanks to the work of Transplant Links Community, a UK registered charity, and sponsors, Republic Bank.
The programme began in late November, when surgeons completed two successful kidney transplants at the QEH.
Speaking during a press conference that followed the successful operations, Dr Jennie Jewitt-Harris, CEO of Transplant Links Community, said she hoped Barbados would now follow in the footsteps of Trinidad and Tobago, where surgeons had recently completed over 150 kidney transplants.
“The QEH and Transplant Links Community will continue to work together over the next couple of years to continue the skills transfer and teamwork to make this a sustainable project that is available to all patients in Barbados with kidney failure. I must give enormous special thanks to Republic Bank. They have sponsored our visit this time to make the start of this project possible, and in fact they have been fantastic supporters of Transplant Links for many years. They’ve been working with us on the Trinidad project, where we’ve been working with Dr Samuel and the team in Trinidad, and they have recently this year completed over 150 kidney transplants, unassisted by us, and we are pleased just now to be helping them with the paediatric and the more complicated cases. We look forward to reaching that stage here as well,” Dr Jewitt-Harris said.
Outlining the rationale for its involvement with Transplant Links, Republic Bank’s Social Investment Officer, Nadia Williams said supporting areas that impacted the health and wellness of the region’s people, such as kidney failure, and sickle cell disease which Republic also supported, was as the foundation of Republic Bank’s commitment to building successful Caribbean societies.
Also speaking during the press conference, Manager, Marketing & Corporate Communications, Debbie Stoute, said it was noteworthy that the Transplant Link programme coincided with Diabetes Month in Barbados, given the link between renal failure and diabetes, another area where Republic Bank contributes through the Diabetes Association’s Mobile Testing Unit. Stoute said Barbadians could now make a difference by becoming kidney donors.
She revealed that Republic Bank would also be donating funds and opening a Republic Bank account on behalf of a deserving young man who was one of the QEH’s two recent kidney transplant recipients.