While in Tunisia I made two stops to discuss and just to try to raise awareness about an International Paired Kidney Exchange Database.
The first was a hospital called “Clinique Avicenne” where I had the chance to talk to their equivalent of a Nephrologist. He is excited about the idea and does know of programs in effect in Europe but with Tunisia being a country with a relatively small population the idea has never really been put forth there. “An international database would give life saving opportunities to their people that they never would have otherwise” he told me.
After my visit at Clinique Avicenne we then went to a dialysis care giver in Sousse about 140 Kilometers south of Tunis. There I spoke individually with a few people who were going in for treatment and some during thier treatment about the possibillity of a international paired exchange database and what it involves.. These people had not even heard about this possiblity and once they understood I could see thier eyes light up with hope. One of the nurses went to the man who seemed to be the director of the clinic and spoke to him in french about what I was there telling them and he promptly escorted me out of the clinic and told me outside that they didnt want american solutions to dialysis here simply because of these people did not need dialysis this clinic would not exist and people who worked there would not have jobs to feed thier families!
When I left there I thought about the hope in those peoples eyes. But a tear came to mine when I thought about the uphill battle this could be in some places.