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January Thursday

Cuba: Over 5 000 Kidney Transplants in Four Decades

HAVANA, Cuba, Jan 23 (ACN) Over 5 thousand 1 hundred kidney transplants have been carried out in Cuba since February 24, 1970 up to date, with results considered as successful as those achieved in developed nations, said an expert in Havana.

International Transplant Coordination expert, Doctor Alexander Marmol, who heads the kidney transplant program at the Cuban Health Ministry, told ACN news agency that the medical procedure has been carried out on donations from cadaverous and living persons, who have been close relatives of recipient patients, since the protocol in Cuba stipulates that transplants can only be accepted from the siblings, parents or children of the patients.

A 2nd degree nephrologist , Professor Marmol said that kidney transplant are carried out in nine Cuban hospitals, six of them in Havana, including a pediatric institution, and another four located in the provinces of Holguin, Santiago de Cuba, Camaguey and Villa Clara.

The doctor thanked all Cuban families that have agreed to the donation of organs by their relatives to extend the lives of other citizens, since as he noted without donations transplants are not possible to be done.

One donor can save at least four lives, said the doctor and added that Cuba is one of the countries with the lowest family negative response to allowing donations, with only 13 percent, while in many capitalist countries such indicator is over 40 percent.

The Center of Cellular Engineering and Organ and Tissue Transplant, which was recently inaugurated, will increase the quality of the national transplant program by carrying out histocompatibility studies for all kinds of human transplants, particularly bone marrow and kidney procedures.

Research at the center has kicked off based on molecular biology techniques, which allow learning tissue compatibility between donors and recipients before administering the medical procedure.

According to studies carried out in first world nations, a kidney transplants is four times more economical than keeping a patient on dialysis, a procedure that costs Cuba some 20 thousand dollars annually for each patient, the doctor said.

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