Samoa to host kidney symposium next year

Samoa will host a regional kidney symposium in March next year.

This was confirmed by Clinical Director of National Kidney Foundation (N.K.F.), Leituala Dr. Ben Matalavea, in an interview with Samoa Observer.

The symposium will be funded by International Society of Nephrology (I.S.N.), whom they met last year and has agreed to provide funding for the hosting of the symposium. 

Leituala said while the foundation has been around for a over a decade, their staff need to undergo training on how to deal with the challenges that they encounter in their line of work.

“They just discovered that Samoa has had dialysis for 15 years whereas other Pacific Islands (states) have setup recently but we need funding not to provide the machine but to educate us workers about various problems encountered in our line of work," he said in an interview.

“Participants will include authorities and specialists for nephrology in the pacific region together with Australia and New Zealand. 

“The conference is significant because it will upgrade our skill-set and our knowledge because participants will be able to share knowledge and experiences because we cannot do this alone, we have to collaborate, talk and share information with pacific representatives like Fiji to make our work easier.”

He also stated that they have a fully functional unit at the National Kidney Foundation but they do not have specialists in nephrology.

“For myself, I am a primary care doctor – general practitioner but the guys that we rely on - they come from overseas like New Zealand and Australia and my job is to look after this unit and connect with overseas help which we are very grateful for, to assist us in our work.

“We have a medical school here now, so we have to generate the interest in the students to conduct this work because they are the future of the medical profession.

“If we do our jobs properly people who are at an early stage of becoming sick won’t get to the critical stage, primary care focuses on being out in the community and preventing our people from getting at a critical level like getting dialysis.”

Vice-Chancellor for the Samoa Oceania University of Medicine (O.U.M.), Toleafoa Dr. Viali Lameko said that they will present some of their research findings on kidney disease at the conference next year.

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