Paediatric Hepatobiliary

Paediatric lver transplantation for children treated at public health facilities in South Africa: Time for change

Sanjay Govind Lala, Russell Britz, Jean Botha, Jerome Loveland

Abstract


Paediatric liver transplantation (PLT) is the only therapeutic option for many children with end-stage chronic liver disease or irreversible fulminant hepatic failure and is routinely considered as a therapy by paediatric gastroenterologists and surgeons working in developed countries. In South Africa (SA), a PLT programme is available at Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital in Cape Town since November 1991, and another has rapidly developed at the Wits Donald Gordon Medical Centre in Johannesburg over the past decade. However, for most children with progressive chronic liver disease who are reliant on the services provided at public health facilities in SA, PLT is not an option because of a lack of resources in a mismanaged public health system. This article briefly outlines the services offered at Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital - which is typical of public health facilities in SA - and proposes that resources be allocated to establish an innovative, nationally funded centre that would enable greater numbers of children access to a PLT programme.


Authors' affiliations

Sanjay Govind Lala, Department of Paediatrics, Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa

Russell Britz, Transplant Division, Wits Donald Gordon Medical Centre, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa

Jean Botha, Transplant Division, Wits Donald Gordon Medical Centre, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa

Jerome Loveland, Transplant Division, Wits Donald Gordon Medical Centre, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa

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Keywords

Liver transplantation; Children; Public health; South Africa

Cite this article

South African Medical Journal 2014;104(11):829-832. DOI:10.7196/SAMJ.8624

Article History

Date submitted: 2014-06-30
Date published: 2014-10-24

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