Albania is a young Democracy emerging from under 40 yr of dictatorship. During this era Albanians were subjected to isolation, purges, shortages, repression of civil, political and religious rights. This resulted in the least developed healthcare system in Europe. After the mid 90 s, there have been relentless attempts to modernize Albania. Recently an international medical team collaborated with an Albanian team of physicians to perform the first successful renal transplant. With continued cooperation and perseverance developing a transplant program in Albania is within reach.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The epidemiology of end-stage renal disease (ESRD) is changing all over the world. Particularly dramatic changes of the epidemiology of ESRD have occurred in central and eastern Europe (CEE). The aim of the present study was (i) to document the further expansion of renal replacement therapy (RRT) noted in recent years in CEE and (ii) to analyse in some detail treatment modalities and underlying renal conditions.
Three independent surveys were performed in 1995, 1997 and 1998. Fifteen CEE countries participated. The data were mainly obtained from national registries which are based on centre and patient questionnaires.
The data collected from 15 CEE countries document further expansion of RRT in this region. The report includes data on the availability of RRT in Byelorussia, Estonia, and Russia which have become available for the first time. The epidemiology of dialysed patients has changed remarkably. In the majority of countries the number of diabetic patients has increased, most dramatically so in the Czech Republic (31% of all dialysed patients), in the majority of the other countries 10-14%. The number of ESRD patients with the diagnosis of hypertensive nephropathy has also increased and this was accompanied by an increase in proportion of elderly (>65 years) patients, i.e. 46% in the Czech Republic and 12-25% in most other countries.
Dramatic changes of the availability of RRT treatment have occurred in central and eastern Europe. The proportion of diabetic nephropathy and elderly patients has risen. Large differences in RRT exist between individual CEE countries and this appears mainly dependent on the level of economic development.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Tirana, the only dialysis facility in Albania (pop 4 million), has a stock of 12 patients and three haemodialysis machines. To determine the need for renal services in Albania we studied the incidence and outcome of patients with chronic renal failure (CRF) referred to the renal service in Tirana (pop 300 000) over 1 year. Case-notes of all patients with a serum creatinine concentration > or = 300 mumol/l during the study period (1992) were examined and outcome at 2 years recorded for each patient. In all, 84 patients (mean age 41.6 +/- 17.5 years, 56% male) were referred to nephrologists of whom 35 (42%) came from Tirana, giving an annual incidence of 116 per million pop. 77% were under 40 and had no co-morbid illness. Glomerulonephritis, the most common renal diagnosis, affected 26% patients. 22% patients (mean age 38 +/- 18.1) died within 2 years and only 5% received dialysis. The mean age of those who received dialysis was 29 +/- 8.3 compared with those who were not dialysed (42 +/- 18.0). The 59 patients (24 from Tirana i.e. 80 per million) who were alive with advanced CRF (creatinine > 500) had a mean creatine of 623 +/- 93 mumol/l and would be candidates for dialysis. Patients with progressive renal failure in Albania are regularly followed and treated with antihypertensives and dietary modification. The need for RRT, however, is not being met even for young patients with no co-morbidity.
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