Initiatives – ISN Gateway


Monday, 12 September 2011 08:36

ISN partners with UKidney

Written by Sally Horspool

ISN is happy to announce the start of a new partnership with, a leading resource in nephrology education. From today, ISN will become UKidney’s exclusive educational partner.

David Harris, Chair of the ISN Education Committee, is looking forward to the collaboration which he believes will expand access to educational materials and opportunities for nephrologists worldwide, with a special focus on developing countries.

“ISN, with the help of, will deliver the latest interactive education resources online to build a new ISN educational portal. This includes interactive histopathology images, videos on interventional procedures, clinical practice guidelines, meeting coverage and more. It promises to be very instructive and enjoyable to use,” he explains.

“We are also making many of UKidney’s interactive offerings available to ISN members and will feature content created by ISN on itself,” adds Jordan Weinstein, director of

Cancer, diabetes, heart and lung disease are the main targets of a new World Health Organization (WHO) campaign launched in 2005 to address the global epidemic of non-communicable diseases (NCDs). Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) does not get a passing mention even though it meets all the criteria of a major public health problem.

Aside from raising awareness with World Kidney Day, ISN is currently working to better position CKD in global health thinking by building official working relations with the WHO. ISN President John Feehally says: “Gaining a position for kidney disease in global health strategies is long. There are many obstacles along the way. However, we remain committed to ensuring that kidney disease patients share the benefits that come with increased awareness and attention to NCDs worldwide. ”

Starting in 2008, ISN put forward its mission and proposed a joint work plan to implement CKD prevention and intervention programs into WHO’s health agenda and build “official relations. ISN has now submitted a final progress report on the 2009-2011 ISN/WHO work plan and a new work plan for 2011-13.

The first part of this work plan was completed this July when William Couser, Marcello Tonelli and Giuseppe Remuzzi  submitted a paper to WHO entitled: “The Contribution of Chronic Kidney Disease to the Global Burden of Major Non-Communicable Diseases.” Remuzzi and Norberto Perico also completed the second part by applying WHO/ISH risk charts to the ISN KDDC data base to study the  association between kidney disease markers and the risk of cardio vascular disease.

In June, ISN leaders contacted the WHO’s Assistant Director General for Non-Communicable Diseases and Mental Health to review and update the status of ISN’s application. On August 2, 2011 ISN was notified that the application was complete and will be reviewed in January 2012.

At the ISN World Congress of Nephrology 2011, leaders continued to voice concern that CKD remains absent from the WHO list of NCDs even though it affects twice the estimated number of the world’s population with diabetes. A senior advisor for public policy was hired to put together a plan of action to position CKD more prominently in the global health agenda, especially at the United Nations High Level Meeting on NCDs taking place in New York  in September 2011. Joint efforts with the International Federation of Kidney Foundations, European Kidney Health Alliance and leaders of major US renal organizations have also been carried out to get ISN’ a seat at the table for CKD policy planning.

This got the ball rolling for ISN to recruit some 350 ISN ‘advocacy volunteers’ to carry its message to the WHO and lobby for the organization to include CKD in its NCD strategy. So far, these volunteers have cultivated relationships with Health Ministers in Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Egypt, Ethiopia, France, Germany, Guatemala , India, Hong Kong, Japan, Mexico, Morocco, The Netherlands, Senegal, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Turkey, The United States, Uruguay.

To raise further attention, ISN has produced CKD supportive ‘Op-Ed’ articles and an advocacy piece entitled: “Awareness of Kidney  Disease Low Despite Affecting  500 Million People Worldwide and Global Costs Surpassing  $1 Trillion this Decade .” On August 22, 2011, ISN was granted membership in the NCD Alliance “Common Interest Group” – the first renal organization to be included in this group.

Leaders of major US kidney organizations concerned with reducing the burden of chronic kidney disease (CKD) in America, joined forces last week with their colleagues at the International Society of Nephrology (ISN) in its joint global initiative asking Health Ministers around the world, including HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius – to help secure the inclusion of kidney disease in the strategies coming from the World Health Organization/United Nations High Level Meeting on Non-Communicable Diseases being held in New York, 19-20 September 2011.

You can read the full press release here .

To read a copy of the joint letter sent to Secretary Sebelius click here .


Tuesday, 28 June 2011 09:33

Winner of Renal Pathology mini-sabbatical

Written by Sally Horspool

The ISN Renal Pathology Advisory Committee recently sought applications for mini-sabbaticals for nephropathologists from developing countries to travel to a major nephropathology meeting and stay onsite for up to two weeks for further training.

Dr Orlando Rodas, Department of Pathology Roosevelt Hospital in Guatemala City, has been awarded the opportunity to participate in the Columbia University Renal Pathology course “Renal Biopsy in Medical Diseases of the Kidney” to be held in New York City from August 3 to 6, 2011.

The aim of this initiative is to enhance the participants’ abilities and technical know-how regarding renal biopsies and build on their existing knowledge of renal pathology. Dr Rodas will also have the option spend one or two weeks at Columbia University following the course, under the mentorship of the director of this course, Dr. Vivette D’Agati.

A few years ago, the Foundation for Children with Kidney Diseases (FUNDANIER) in Guatemala established an agreement with Hospital Roosevelt and the national University of San Carlos, to develop a nephropathology laboratory. Dr Rodas’ experience of this course will contribute to developing this laboratory which is the only local facility devoted specifically to nephropathology.

Tuesday, 03 May 2011 15:20

ISN launches new website

Written by Jesper Lillelund

ISN is striving to provide a better web-based experience showcasing its efforts in advancing nephrology worldwide and providing a platform for members and non-members to access relevant information. A new and more user-friendly website has now been launched, visit:

The new website showcases ISN’s mission and humanitarian efforts, giving ISN members easy access to:

• Kidney International and Nature Reviews Nephrology online content

• News and updates

• Global Outreach (GO) programs

• Event calendars

• Members directory, profiles and renewals

• Applications to ISN programs and grants

Monday, 21 February 2011 17:14

ISN RDRTF reacts to disaster in Japan

Written by Jesper Lillelund

The ISN Renal Disaster Relief Taskforce (RDRTF) has responded to the aftermath of the earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan on Friday March 11, 2011.

The team is reporting that the Japanese Society for Transplantation and  Dialysis is organizing support. So far, the local infrastructure and medical personnel are dealing with renal emergencies.

On Saturday March 12, 2011, an assessment team from M?decins Sans Fronti?res reached Sendai, in the north of the country, and found that hospital care was under control. There was however a strong need for blankets, water, food and shelter.

Further information on the ISN RDRTF is available here

Monday, 21 February 2011 17:14

Nominate candidates for AMGEN award 2011

Written by Jesper Lillelund

ISN is inviting the ISN renal community to send nominations for the AMGEN-sponsored awards to be handed out at the World Congress of Nephrology (WCN) 2011 in Vancouver, Canada.

$50,000 will be awarded to one individual along with a commemorative crystal award and a framed certificate. A shared award for the same discovery or a contribution to this will also be handed to two lucky nominees.

Start thinking about who you believe should receive this award in 2011 as the nomination period starts on January 15 and ends February 15, 2011.

Thursday, 25 November 2010 16:10

Supporting Acute Kidney Injury in India

Written by Jesper Lillelund

The ISN Acute Kidney Injury working group conducted a one day work shop on October 31, 2010 at the Care hospital in Hyderabad, India under the leadership of South Asian Council Member Ravindra Metha and Georgi Abraham.  Some 26 doctors including leading nephrologists from India, intensivists and cardiologists attended the event. 

One major topic under discussion was the lack of standardization in laboratories across India which affects how AKI is diagnosed and how accurately levels of blood urea or serum creatinine are tested. This issue was discussed in detail and only an initiative by the state and the Central Government to bring in legislation for licensing  to laboratories will solve the problem.

Continuous Renal Replacement Therapy and index of hydrogen deficiency are being used sparingly to manage AKI. Acute peritoneal dialysis is the treatment of choice as in any emerging economy. Madras medical college general hospital, a free government-run dialysis centre, highlighted published data spanning over nearly one and half decades showing that the pattern of AKI is changing. However, community-acquired AKI is the most common cause of hospital admission in patients belonging to the lower socio economic strata.  NGAL estimation is sparingly done in a couple of tertiary centers. Long term follow up of patients with AKI is lacking in India.

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