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First Kidney Transplant In OECS

Image of OECS Director-General Dr.Didacus Jules

Director General Backs Call for Organ Donor Registry in Subregion.

THE Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) has congratulated Antigua and Barbuda following the first kidney transplant operation to be done in the sub-region.

“This operation had ushered in a new era of health care proficiency within the region driven by a whole of government approach in collaboration with local health authorities and regional health coordinating groups including the Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO) and the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA)” said OECS Director General Dr. Didacus Jules.

Image of OECS Director-General Dr.Didacus Jules
OECS Director-General Dr.Didacus Jules

He said the OECS Commission supports the call for a seamless regional organ donor registry in the wake of the operation and would work closely with all stakeholders to formulate a viable proposal.

“The rise in chronic non-communicable diseases in the OECS such as diabetes, cancer and kidney disease require we work holistically across all strata of government and employ new and innovative ways of addressing these health challenges given the fiscal and other resource constraints of member states.

“The OECS Commission’s Health Unit is working closely with Chief Medical Officers and other stakeholders to further strengthen our associations with our global health development partners and to support proposals for centers of specialized medical care excellence in each OECS member state”,’ Jules said, adding that “this would also include formalising the call by the OECS Health Policy Forum for establishing a national and regional organ donor database, because as we know in the case of kidney disease, a transplant is significantly cheaper and less traumatic than keeping someone on haemodialysis”.

Jules said that the re-modelling needed within the health care architecture of the region is being undertaken to ultimately ensure that every OECS citizen has access to affordable, quality health care and the kidney transplant achievement by the staff of the Mount St John’s Medical Centre is testament to that vision.

The eight hour procedure was performed by a 14-member team consisting of four surgeons, two anaesthetists and eight specialist nurses on January 16.

Antigua and Barbuda Health Minister Molwyn Joseph described the event as “historic” praising “all the doctors, nurses and other technicians who directly or indirectly contributed to this success.

“They shared a vision with the government of what we can accomplish in healthcare and they brought professionalism in making possible what for years appeared to be impossible. Our nation has a right to take pride in this accomplishment, we have done what mere mortals can do and it was done with dedication and care”, Joseph said.

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