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Semin Nephrol. 2017 May;37(3):211-223. doi: 10.1016/j.semnephrol.2017.02.002.

Strengthening Renal Registries and ESRD Research in Africa.

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Division of Nephrology, Stellenbosch University and Tygerberg Hospital, Cape Town, South Africa. Electronic address:
UK Renal Registry and University of Bristol, Bristol, United Kingdom.
Centre for Evidence Based Healthcare, Stellenbosch University, Cape Town, South Africa.
Division of Nephrology, Stellenbosch University and Tygerberg Hospital, Cape Town, South Africa.


In Africa, the combination of noncommunicable diseases, infectious diseases, exposure to environmental toxins, and acute kidney injury related to trauma and childbirth are driving an epidemic of chronic kidney disease and end-stage renal disease (ESRD). Good registry data can inform the planning of renal services and can be used to argue for better resource allocation, audit the delivery and quality of care, and monitor the impact of interventions. Few African countries have established renal registries and most have failed owing to resource constraints. In this article we briefly review the burden of chronic kidney disease and ESRD in Africa, and then consider the research questions that could be addressed by renal registries. We describe examples of the impact of registry data and summarize the sparse primary literature on country-wide renal replacement therapy in African countries over the past 20 years. Finally, we highlight some initiatives and opportunities for strengthening research on ESRD and renal replacement therapy in Africa. These include the establishment of the African Renal Registry and the availability of new areas for research. We also discuss capacity building, collaboration, open-access publication, and the strengthening of local journals, all measures that may improve the quantity, visibility, and impact of African research outputs.


Africa; Renal registry; open access; research impact; translational research

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