UKZN Professor to Attend Conference in Cameroon on HIV-Related Kidney Disease General

Professor Rajendra Bhimma.Professor Rajendra Bhimma.

Paediatric Nephrologist Professor Rajendra Bhimma has been invited to participate in the Controversies Conference on HIV-Related Kidney Diseases which takes place in Yaoundé, Cameroon, from March 17-20.

Bhimma was invited by Kidney Disease: Improving Global Outcomes (KDIGO), a Belgium foundation which works to improve the care and outcomes of kidney disease patients worldwide through promoting co-ordination, collaboration and integration of initiatives to develop and implement clinical practice guidelines.

‘I will present our work on HIV-related kidney diseases in children,’ said Bhimma.

‘This is a Controversies Conference on HIV-Related Kidney Diseases but it is only for about 30 world experts - so it is not a conventional conference.’

He believes the foundation invited him because of his work at UKZN on HIV-related kidney disease in children, ‘We are one of the leading Pediatric Units doing research on HIV-related kidney diseases in children.’

The purpose of the Conference is to gather a global panel of multi-disciplinary clinical and scientific experts to identify and discuss key issues relevant to the optimal diagnosis and management of HIV-related kidney diseases.

‘I am expected to review the literature on HIV-related kidney diseases in children and to contribute towards the development of protocols for the classification and management of this condition in children,’ explained Bhimma.

He said it was a great honour to be invited by the National Institute of Health and to have his team’s work recognised by the international community.

The Conference will bring together a multidisciplinary, international panel of clinical and scientific experts in areas such as nephrology, infectious diseases, renal pathology, and pharmacology to identify and discuss key issues relevant to the optimal diagnosis and management of HIV-related kidney diseases.

‘The specific goals of the Conference are to define the pathology of HIV-related kidney disease; describe the role of genetics in the natural history, diagnosis, and treatment of HIV-associated nephropathy; characterise the renal risk-benefit of antiretroviral therapy in HIV treatment and prevention; and define best practices to delay the progression of kidney disease and to treat end-stage kidney disease in HIV-positive individuals. It will also identify knowledge gaps and areas for future research,’ he said.

Bhimma published a review article on: “Kidney Disease in Children and Adolescents with Perinatal HIV-1 infection”, in the Journal of the International Aids Society and presented on various aspects of HIV-related kidney diseases in children at conferences, both nationally and internationally.

He also won the ISN GO Clinical R&P award for his project titled: “The Role of MYH9/APOL1 Variants and Mutations in the Development of Focal Segmental Glomerulosclerosis in South African Children with Idiopathic and HIV-Related Nephrotic Syndrome”.

Bhimma will present this work at the ISN 2017 World Congress of Nephrology, in Mexico City from April 21 to 25.

Bhimma has been in the field of Nephrology for more than 20 years with research interests in kidney diseases in children. He is the recipient of several awards including the Charlotte Roberts Travel Award, Nestlé Nutrition Scholarship Programme, Non-Communicable Diseases Award for Kidney Disease Research in Children, and the Adcock-Ingram Critical Care International Man of the Year Award.

Nombuso Dlamini