Kidney Transplant Project Progresses Despite COVID-19

Kidney transplant surgeries in Barbados are scheduled to resume in June as a local surgeon returns from training in the UK.

This training is being provided by UK-based charity Transplant Links Community (TLC) with funding from Republic Bank (Barbados) Limited.

Barbados’ Kidney Transplant Programme was birthed through a partnership between the Queen Elizabeth Hospital and TLC, which sees local doctors and nurses receiving medical training in the care of kidney patients, including the intricacies of kidney transplant operations. Through its corporate social responsibility programme, the Power to Make a Difference (PMAD), Republic Bank continues to fund the initiative.

TLC’s Chief Operating Officer (COO), Aimee Jewitt-Harris, explained, “Throughout 2020, travel restrictions impacted on the travel assignments for the medical teams moving between the two countries for training. The project coordinators responded to the challenges by focusing on two pivotal initiatives - online transplant training for the local health care professionals and the continued development of Dr Natacha Paquette in the UK.”

Dr. Paquette is a surgeon who had been training under the leadership of the local Head of the Transplant programme Dr. Margaret O’Shea.

Ms. Jewiit-Harris added, “The QEH team is now in a much better position to develop the kidney transplant programme. Dr. Paquette will provide the much-needed additional surgical support for Dr. O'Shea and the knowledge of the team in the management of transplant patients is progressing really well. Cases for the next transplant visit have been discussed with the team and we look forward to visiting Barbados as soon as COVID restrictions allow. In the meantime, the momentum of the training continues with the online educational workshops planned for 2021.”

The COO said the partnership with Republic Bank has been fundamental to the charity's success and an inspiration to other countries which are just starting to develop a programme. She said the local programme is the fastest developing programme that TLC has ever worked on and has raised the bar for others.

Republic Bank’s Manager, Marketing and Corporate Communications, Sophia Allsopp Cambridge said, “The willingness of the Transplant Links team to continue to enhance the local programme and to improve capabilities, even with all the challenges posed by COVID-19, is exceptional. We at Republic Bank are honoured to partner with TLC and to play a role in making these absolutely life-changing surgeries possible here in Barbados.”

April 9, 2021
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