SA leads Africa in renal failure – research

 March 2016

South Africa has one of the highest rates of renal failure in Africa, according to news research.

A report from Continuing Medical Education (CME), the leading medical Continuing Professional Development (CPD) journal in South Africa, estimates that SA has over 5 000 patients with end-stage renal failure, 50% of them awaiting kidney transplantation due to declining numbers of deceased donors.

“Transplantation is more cost-effective and provides a much better quality of life for these patients than dialysis,” noted Dr Elmi Muller, who penned the report.


Despite an increasing waiting list for kidney organs, the number of transplants annually has not increased in the last ten years relying mostly on living donors.


Consent rates for deceased organ donation are often negatively influenced by religion, socio-economic status and race. In the private sector or higher socio-economic groups, these are between 80 and 100%.


The Organ Donor Foundation reports that in 2013, 36% of kidney donors were related to the recipient.


Dr Heleen Bierman, a Specialist Physician in the field of Nephrology, from The Urology Hospital in Pretoria confirms, “Seven lives can be saved from one donor and by becoming an organ donor for the heart, liver, pancreas, lungs and kidneys, you can save at least 50 lives by donating tissues, such as corneas, bone and skin”.


Bierman adds, “For those concerned about their loved ones who have passed, they can rest well knowing that organ or tissue donations from deceased donors do not leave the body in a disfigured state”.


The National Kidney Foundation reports that the average waiting time for a new kidney varies from time to time but currently can be anything between 6 to 12 years. They confirm that one year after transplantation, 90% of transplanted kidneys are still functioning well.

Register to become a donor online at:, toll free by phone: 0800 22 66 11 or



About The Urology Hospital:

The Urology Hospital has been in existence for 19 years and is the only specialised urology hospital in Africa. It strives to be ‘Outstanding due to Excellence’. Twenty top urologists are based at the hospital, offering unparalleled expertise under one roof.

The Urology Hospital uses highly specialised technology, focusing inter alia on prostate disease/cancer, kidney stones, bladder problems, urological cancer management, female urology and paediatric urology. Other common procedures include prostatectomies, nephrectomies (surgical removal of kidney), partial nephrectomies, circumcisions, vasectomies and male infertility. The hospital works closely with The Department of Urology at the University of Pretoria’s Medical School to ensure the highest standard of trained staff at all times.


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