Chronic kidney disease affects up to 10% of the world's population. This preventable disease tends to be gradual and silent, showing symptoms only at advanced stages, when highly invasive and expensive procedures including dialysis, kidney transplantation are required. Many countries lack the resources to cover the costs of these interventions for those who need them, and there are insufficient available medical specialists to meet the demand.
The Ministry of Health (MoH) requested PAHO/WHO support to assess the nephrology services in Guyana. A team led by Dr. Natalia Grinblat, International PAHO Consultant, and Mr. Daniel Albrecht, Health Systems and Services Advisor, PAHO Guyana Country Office, conducted the assessment at the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC) and three private medical institutions that provide dialysis services and made recommendations to the MoH.
During her one-week mission in Guyana, Dr. Grinblat met with several Directors at the MoH to plan further activities to support the Ministry of Health in strengthening nephrology and dialysis services in Guyana.
- The importance of developing clinical guidelines for the treatment of kidney disease in several stages to decide the use of specific treatments at different levels of care.
- The implementation of developed quality indicators and the creation of a central committee to define and authorize chronic replacement treatments for kidney function with dialysis or kidney transplantation.
- The establishment of dialysis centers to expand access to dialysis services for homogeneous and quality standards. The authorization and supervision of the Centres were deemed critical for Guyana.
- The importance of prevention and early detection of kidney disease at the first level of care.
- Cost-effective and straightforward interventions can be developed to significantly reduce kidney disease in Guyana by working jointly with chronic disease programs.
If applied, these measures are expected to improve the quality of kidney health, with an impact on survival and better quality of life for the population of Guyana.
PAHO will continue to support the Ministry of Health to achieve the quality of care provided to the citizens of Guyana.