Renal transplantation and quality of life in Tanzania
Renal replacement therapy (RRT), which includes dialysis and kidney transplantation, is the treatment of choice for patients with end stage renal failure (ESRF). Most sub-Saharan African countries have not developed renal transplantation services and are relying on referring patients to overseas countries. This study was carried out to describe renal transplantation experience in Tanzania.
Forty-four renal transplant recipients were recruited in this study. Standardized questionnaire and Swahili version of standard form – 36 (SF-36) were used to collect socio-demographic information, clinical data, laboratory test results and health related quality of life information.
Ages of transplant recipient ranged from 21 to 66 years with mean age of 45.9 ± 10.5 years. The leading causes of end stage renal failure among participants was hypertension 58.8% (25/44) followed by glomerulonephritis 15.9% (7/44). Twenty-eight (63.6%) of transplantations were paid by the government. Most of the donors (97.7%) were living out of which 26 (59.1%) were siblings and 11 (25%) were second-degree relatives (cousins and nephews). Most common complication noted following transplantation was diabetes mellitus 9 (20.5%) and 3 (6.8%) had chronic rejection. Mental health was the domain with highest mean score (75.6 ± 14.3) and role physical had the least mean score (44 ± 45.6).
Hypertension was the leading cause of ESRF in this study. Most of the donors were siblings and the costs of transplantation were largely covered by the government. There is a need for concerted effort to establish local kidney transplantation services in Tanzania.
Keywords: Renal transplantation, quality of life in transplantation, Tanzania.