Myanmar: Singapore doctors flown in to help Yangon hospital's first kidney transplant on child

  • Updated
National Kidney Foundation
Picture for representation Reuters

A team of Myanmar and Singapore doctors have performed the first kidney transplant at Yangon Children's Hospital on Sunday (28 January). The six-hour long surgery was done on a10-year-old girl, who was suffering from a chronic renal disorder.

This was also the fourth kidney transplant carried out in Myanmar and the foreign doctors were flown in from Singapore's National University Hospital. The previous three operations took place in Mandalay.

The little girl, a resident of North Okkalapa township in Yangon, is being closely monitored by doctors and it takes four to six weeks before making any statement on the success of the operation, said Associate Professor Dr Cho Cho San of the hospital's renal unit.

However, according to Dr Su Su Dwe, medical superintendent of Yangon Children's Hospital, the doctors are expecting positive results since her 23-year-old brother donated the kidney. There will be few post-surgery complications as kidneys from siblings have a better match, he said. The only complication could be with the adult kidney getting adjusted to a child's body.

The operation process was cumbersome, nevertheless. Before the surgery, the patient had to undergo kidney dialysis three times a week. Dr Cho Cho San also revealed that the cost of the operation was very expensive, but the government is providing the necessary assistance.

On January 24 and 25, 2017 the first ever kidney transplantation for children was successfully carried out on two patients with the technical aid of Singapore National University Hospital, and again in June at the 300-bed Mandalay Children's Hospital.

Myanmar is, otherwise, facing acute shortage of doctors and specialists in the healthcare sector. As a member of the ASEAN, Myanmar gets cooperation from other countries in health and education, especially from Singapore with its advanced healthcare system.

Singapore's National University Hospital is also known for research and excellence in the field of kidney transplants. Two years ago, they carried out the first living paired kidney exchange transplant. It involves matching incompatible living donors with compatible recipients across two or more donor-recipient pairs.