Since the establishment of the Subcommittee by COMGAN Chairman John Dirks in 1997, the committee has organized several meetings. David Pugsley (Adelaide, Australia) convened the group and organized the first meeting in association with the XIVth congress of the ISN in Sydney, Australia. It was a two day meeting held on aboriginal land at Uluru (Ayer’s Rock) in Central Australia. The proceedings of the meeting were subsequently published in the journal Nephrology.
In 1999 a symposium on kidney disease in indigenous populations was held within the XVth Congress of the ISN in Buenos Aires, Argentina. In October 2000, a workshop focusing on the genetics of kidney disease in indigenous populations and racial and ethnic minority groups was organized within the annual meeting of the American Society of Nephrology (ASN) in Toronto, Canada. Following the World Congress of Nephrology (WCN) in San Francisco in 2001, a two-day satellite meeting was held in Santa Fe, New Mexico on “Renal Disease in Racial and Ethnic Minorities and Indigenous Populations.” A similar satellite symposium was held in Ensenada, Mexico in November 2003 following the annual meeting of the American Society of Nephrology in San Diego, California. Since then the committee has organized satellite meetings at the WCN in Singapore in 2005, Rio de Janeiro 2007 (Petropolis), Milan 2009, and Vancouver 2011 (Victoria, BC), Hong Kong 2013, and Cape Town 2015. We are currently working on the organization of a satellite meeting to the WCN 2017, Mexico City.
As with the inaugural meeting, the proceedings of most of the symposia have been published; the Santa Fe and Ensenada symposia were published as supplements to Kidney International. The Singapore and Rio de Janeiro symposia were published in Ethnicity & Disease, the Milan and Hong Kong meetings in Clinical Nephrology, and the Victoria conference were published in Kidney International Supplements. The publication of the proceedings, under the leadership of David Pugsley and since 2013 of Kowdle S Prabhakar as editors, has made it possible for many nephrologists from emerging countries to publish their research in highly respected journals.
An important component of these symposia is providing scholarships to trainees and young investigators from underserved communities and developing countries. This scholarship program has made it possible for many young nephrologists to attend and present relevant posters, which were carefully reviewed and rated. The interaction and information sharing among the attendees has also allowed the participants to actively focus on practical aspects of kidney health including prevention, detection, and disease management.
In addition to satellite meetings to WCN, our committee has organized two innovative and successful workshops on the Prevention of Kidney Disease in Antigua, Guatemala, April, 2008 and Resistencia, El Chaco, Argentina, April, 2010. The meetings gathered together representatives from local and regional nephrology societies, regional health ministries officials, the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO), and the Latin American Society of Nephrology and Hypertension (SLANH). As a result, for the first time CKD has become part of a major regional program to reduce non-communicable diseases (NCD) in Central and South America and the Caribbean. In collaboration with PAHO and other regional health bodies, this represents a significant move towards assessing and tackling the extent of CKD in Latin America.
We have co-organized the Annual Meetings of the Mexican National Nephrologists Association, in partnership with the Spanish Society of Nephrology (SEN), the University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada, the Instituto Mexicano de Investigaciones Nefrológicas (IMIN), the ISN-COMGAN Latin American Committee, and the Latin-American Society of Nephrology and Hypertension (SLANH). This meeting are unique in the sense that they focus on early detection and prevention of progression of CKD. Therefore, they attracted the attention of a large number of primary care physicians as well as medical students.
Additionally, an IFKF-COMGAN symposium on CKD in South East Asia was organized as a part of the 11th IFKF International Meeting, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. On November 2011, a Conference on Kidney Disease Prevention in Disadvantaged Populations in South America and the Caribbean was organized together with the 7th Brazilian meeting on Prevention of Chronic Kidney Disease, at Sao Luis de Maranhao.
Finally, we participated in the development and implementation of an on-line training program in early detection and control of CKD for Primary Care Physicians, sponsored by the Carlos Slim Institute of Health. The program is divided in 11 training modules, and is part of a training program on non-communicable diseases that includes Diabetes Mellitus, Hypertension, and Obesity and Dyslipidemias. Mexico’s Health Secretariat is implementing the program to train primary health physicians in the prevention and management of these diseases. This can be used as pilot program and if successful could be used in any particular region of the world