His declaration came after a group of East Africa diaspora from United Kingdom with experience of kidney disease invited Kiambu County to partner with their organization Kidney Research Kenya in establishing affordable dialysis and kidney transplant regime first in Kiambu County, in Kenya and East Africa as a region.
In his speech as the chief guest at a dinner at the University of Toledo hosted by Professor Michael Rees, Governor Kabogo said, ‘when I was invited to come to America by the UK group lead by kidney transplant patient and founder of Kidney Research Kenya Macharia Gakuru, I was not sure what exactly we were to achieve. Now my mind is very clear. Having met Prof. Michael Rees who runs Alliance for Paired Donation and has developed software in collaboration with Nobel Prize Winner Prof Alvin Roth, I believe we have a solution to the less fortunate in our society to have affordable dialysis and kidney transplant in our county level four hospitals.’
‘I have come to know that the American population and our population can have a cross match of their donors to make the best match depending on blood groups and tissue typing that our population will also benefit from the American technology and international funding that this may attract because of our difference in financing and insurance costing resulting in savings to American tax payers and gain to Kenyans. The thing we need to embark on now is to educate our masses. Organ donation is a taboo in our culture. I lead from the front and offer my organs in the event of my death to be harvested and used to save lives and research to improve our knowledge of science. We must be our brothers keeper,’ he said.
In reply, ‘Prof. Michael Rees said, this gives a great opportunity to share our knowledge and expertise in areas of kidney pairing that can solve the problems in America as well fund as solution for kidney patients in Kenya. The University of Toledo is prepared to help train doctors, nurses and people involved in this project to the international standards. We are looking forward to visiting Kenya and more so Kiambu County where we have prepared the grounds to start our pilot project with our partners in the UK and elsewhere in the world. ’
Dr. Jonah Mwangi who is Kiambu Health Minister said, ‘our next step is to get reliable statistics in our county to identify our incident rates of kidney failure. People don’t have to go to India anymore but we will find our own solution from within.’
Others who attended the conference from KRK were Dr. Patrick Ondire a diabetic physician based in the UK who lost his father through kidney failure, Dr. James Wafula, a consultant radiologists based in the UK, from Uganda, Dr Ndiritu Ndirangu an epidemiologist and Chris Maina KRK Regional Director.
From University of Toledo and APD included former University President Prof. Dan Johnson, Prof. Kristopher Brickman, head of Urology Department Prof. Steven Selman, University of Toledo Provost John Barrett, Ira Brody, APD Communications Director, Susan Rees, APD Transplant Coordinator and University of Toledo Director of Nephrology Prof. Deepak Malhotra among others.
The four-day meeting brought together attendants from by UK and Kenya based Kidney Research Kenya (KRK), Kiambu County, Mount Kenya University, Alliance for Paired Donation (APD) and University of Toledo in Ohio.