COMGAN- Purpose, Organisation, Leadership, Activities and Budget

The activities of COMGAN are aimed to reach out to countries and regions of the world where the need for better renal care is foremost. COMGAN's goal is to provide assistance to these areas, when possible, via the many important programs offered by ISN such as: The Fellowship Program; President's Continuing Medical Education Programs; Library Enhancement Program; Travel Grants; Educational Slides on Renal Parenchymal Diseases and Hypertension; Visiting Scholar's Program and the recently introduced Scholarship Training Program.

Organisation and Leadership:
COMGAN was formed as a Commission of ISN in 1995. Since its inception COMGAN has been co-chaired by two senior nephrologists: Dr. Barry Brenner of Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston and Dr. John Dirks of the University of Toronto and Toronto Hospital. Drs. Brenner and Dirks oversee the five working subcommittees that cover the globe as follows:

1. Africa
2. Asia
3. Central and South America
4. Eastern and Central Europe
5. Commonwealth of Independent States (former Soviet Union) and Middle East

Each of the five subcommittees has seven or more members, who individually serve, on average, for a three year term. A list of the 1997 COMGAN subcommittee members is provided for those wishing to make contact.

Much of COMGAN's current work takes the form of fact-finding missions, site visits and short courses. Attendance at these courses often exceeds expectations such as the case of Moscow in June 1997 where 350 attended and Istanbul in July 1997 where 800 physicians, nurses and technicians participated. Recently these courses have been offered in tandem with courses, similarly focused, by the World Council of Renal Care. Partnerships with other organizations and societies such as the American Society of Nephrology, the Asian Pacific Society of Nephrology, the European Renal Association, the European Society of Pediatric Nephrology and the Society of Latin American Nephrology and Hypertension have brought positive benefits, such as speakers and expertise, to those areas where courses have been conducted.

COMGAN subcommittee members actively promote new membership, participate in, organize and research presentations and foster applications for Fellowship and Visiting Scholar Programs from junior and senior physicians alike. Further activities include the promotion of renal sister centre linkages and the Joint Membership Program.

COMGAN currently receives funding in the amount of $125,000 USD to promote the various ISN programs. Each of the five subcommittees receives an operating budget of $15,000 per annum. While the latter amount does not support travel costs, speakers expenses etc. for site visits and fact-finding missions, ISN has been generously assisted by industry and a number of societies and funds in the developed world.

COMGAN, in keeping with the overall objectives of the International Society of Nephrology, promotes these various initiatives as part of its commitment to addressing the needs in renal medicine in the developing world.

Interested physicians are encouraged to contact subcommittee members to make inquiries concerning any of the listed ISN programs.


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