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Abstract: TH-PO327

Dialysis After Displacement

Session Information

Category: Dialysis

  • 701 Dialysis: Hemodialysis and Frequent Dialysis

Authors

  • Ryali, Madhavi Ellora, Nephrology Associates of Northern Illinois, Elmhurst, Illinois, United States
  • Kalawadia, Sejal K., Nephrology Associates of Northern Illinois and Indiana (NANI), Blue Island, Illinois, United States
  • Atassi, Wadah, Nephrology Associates of Northern Illinois and Indiana (NANI), Blue Island, Illinois, United States
  • Ghossein, Cybele, Northwestern University- Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, Illinois, United States
Background

The Syrian war and the influx of approximately 1.5 million refugees into neighboring Lebanon has led to a humanitarian crisis. Refugees have a multitude of chronic medical and psychosocial problems and few resources. End stage renal disease (ESRD) refugees patients have the additional stressor of trying to obtain life-saving therapy under extreme hardship. Here we report on the current experience of ESRD Syrian refugee patients in Lebanon.

Methods

As part of a medical mission through the Syrian American Medical Society (SAMS), four US nephrologists along with ground staff evaluated the dialysis services provided to refugees in Lebanon. The Lebanese government covers dialytic services for their citizens but Syrian refugees depend on Non Government Organizations (NGO) or personal finances to cover their treatments. Two NGOs currently fund the majority of HD treatments for Syrian refugees in Lebanon – Norwegian Aid Committee (NORWAC) and SAMS. Hemodialysis (HD) is the only available dialysis option. Each dialysis session costs approximately $100 per 4 hour treatment session but does not include transportation and oral medications. Patients travel up to 6 hours by bus round-trip to receive HD. Transplantation is not an option due to costs.

Results

There are currently 218 Syrian refugees in Lebanon who require HD, and this number grows by 1-2 monthly. 114 are covered by NORWAC, 37 are covered by SAMS, and 67 patients are on a waiting for list for a sponsored dialysis chair. Waiting list patients wait for NGO coverage, self-pay for an HD session intermittently if they are able to afford it, or die waiting.

Conclusion

The primary obstacle for providing Syrian refugees in need with HD in Lebanon is cost. This vulnerable population mortality risk is high given the limited financial resources available to them and the chronicity of their condition.

Funding

  • Private Foundation Support