On August 27th, 2020, the Tamil Canadian Centre for Civic Action (TCCCA) in collaboration with the Kidney Health Education and Research Group hosted an online webinar on Kidney Health, Disease, and Organ Transplantation.
The presentation was led by Dr. Istvan Mucsi and was translated by the CEO of the TCCCA, Neethan Shan.
Broadly, the topics discussed included the function of the kidneys, risk factors for kidney disease, key facts about kidney disease and how to prevent it, and treatments options including dialysis and transplantation. One of the takeaway points of the presentation was the difference in quality of life provided by transplantation and dialysis. According to Dr. Mucsi, transplantation is considered the optimal treatment for kidney disease, and a kidney transplant from a living donor lasts about 5-10 years longer than a kidney transplant from a deceased donor. Despite this, South Asian, East Asian, and African Canadian patients are 50-70% less likely to receive a kidney transplant from a living donor than white patients. Presentations and educational programs like this are extremely important for spreading the word about kidney disease, encouraging donations within the community, and clearing up any general misconceptions. Personally, this presentation made me more understanding of the ethnocultural inequities that come along with access to living donor kidney transplant.
The virtual webinar was well-attended by various Tamil community members. In fact, one of the highlights of the webinar included an inspiring talk by Ruby, who donated one of her kidneys to her husband Ravi. Ruby was overjoyed to share her story and encouraged others to donate their organs to people in need. I cannot speak for others, but if I were to know of an organ donor and organ recipient in my community, I would feel less afraid and more inspired to consider donation. If you’d like to watch a recording of the webinar, you can visit this link.
I look forward to participating in more webinars with the TCCCA. I think our next presentation could be focused on addressing the social determinants of health that might lead to the disparities in living donor kidney transplant between racialized and white patients. I encourage others to send in any questions or prompts for future presentations.
Written by: Nawang Yanga