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Project information

Saving people with kidney failure in Zambia

In Zambia kidney failure is very common, and the outlook is worse than having HIV/AIDS. Dialysis is limited and most patients die. A transplant programme is now achievable and a surgeon from Zambia has been to the UK to train. The team from the UK now need to get to Zambia to help him get started.

September 2014 - September 2017

Charity information: Transplant Links

Transplant Links logo
  • Need


    There is a growing problem of kidney failure in Zambia and across the world. It has many causes and affects all ages. In Zambia there is now the chance to change this through the development of a kidney transplant programme where one family member saves the life of their relative by donating one of their kidneys for transplant. It is a common procedure now in the Western world and skill transfer is needed to develop it in Zambia.


    It will save the lives of patients suffering from kidney failure, and will teach the life-saving skills to the local medical staff so that many more lives can be saved in the future. At the heart of Transplant Links Community's work is sustainability - we aim to equip the surgeons, doctors, nurses, nephrologists, theatre staff and other staff involved in the project with the leadership, strategy, skills and knowledge so that eventually they can run their own sustainable transplant programme.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    We aim to save the lives of people with kidney failure.


    » We will carry out kidney transplants where a healthy member of a family donates a kidney to save the life of their loved one.

    What success will look like

    Patients with kidney failure will have had a kidney transplant to save their life.

    Aim 2

    Transfer medical and surgical skills so that many more patients can benefit from a sustainable plan.


    » The first step of training the Zambian surgeon in the UK has been carried out successfully.
    » The second step is to help the Zambian surgeon to carry out the first transplants in Zambia by sending UK doctors to help.

    What success will look like

    Surgeons, other doctors, nurses and healthcare workers will have been trained in kidney transplantation.

  • Impact


    The project will bring about the development of a national sustainable living kidney transplant programme serving the people of Zambia who are suffering from kidney failure. Rather than facing a life time of dialysis, citizens of Zambia will have the chance of living kidney transplantation so that they can return to near-normal life.


    The risks have been minimised through the early involvement of politicans and managers who need to support the project, and through the first step of training a surgeon in the UK who has now returned to Zambia to lead the project.


    We enjoy updating our donors after each visit on how the project is going, and sending them photographs of patients and healthcare workers involved. Some donors like to visit our projects and we encourage this.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £240,000

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £200,000 TLC team visit costs visits of TLC healthcare workers - travel costs and equipment
      £40,000 Project management Project management of the medical teams
  • Background


    University Teaching Hospital, Lusaka, Zambia


    A wide population of patients suffering from kidney failure, and also healthcare workers wanting to develop their skills.
    Family members of the patients with kidney failure
    Work colleagues of the patients with kidney failure

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    Transplant Links is the only charity that solely supports the development of kidney transplant programmes throughout the world. We have been working in Ghana since 2007, and also in Trinidad, Jamaica, Nepal, Bangldesh and Nigeria. The charity relies on the specialists in transplantation in the UK giving up their own time to travel to partner countries and share their skills.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Dr Michael Mbambiko

    Consultant surgeon at University Teaching Hospital in Zambia, who has already spent time learning skills in the UK