Celebrating World Kidney Day March 8, 2012

Bridge of Life-DaVita Medical Missions Goes to South Africa: Missions to Guatemala, Jamaica, Tanzania, Peru to be undertaken in 2012

Bridge of Life - DaVita Medical MissionsTM today announced upcoming missions to South Africa, Jamaica, Tanzania, and Peru in 2012.

A summer mission will upgrade 10 dialysis stations at Nelson Mandela Hospital in Johannesburg, South Africa.  Several spring missions will include:

  • Installing 15 new dialysis stations in Chimbote, Peru
  • Installing 10 new stations in Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania
  • Screening 400 high-risk children for chronic kidney disease in Solola, Guatemala
  • Performing 120 fistula surgeries in Jamaica to create safer dialysis access for patients there.

“Across the developing world, over one million people are dying of kidney disease every year simply because they lack access to treatment,” said Lori Vaclavik, Executive Director of Bridge of Life-DaVita Medical Missions. “Bridge of Life is the only nonprofit organization in the world dedicated to saving lives by bringing dialysis to developing countries.”

Fifty years ago in the United States, patients with chronic kidney failure faced certain death.  About 100,000 people died each year of kidney disease at that time.

The advent of outpatient dialysis in the U.S. in 1962 increased patients’ life span dramatically.  Today in the U.S., despite population growth of over 125 million people in the last 50 years, fewer than 50,000 people die of kidney failure each year.

Developing countries are not so lucky. According to the International Society of Nephrology, “Life-saving dialysis and transplants are not available in most of the developing world.  In fact, there are 112 countries in the world (total population of over 600 million people) with no resources for dialysis or kidney transplants at all, directly resulting in the death of over one million people a year from kidney failure.”

Bridge of Life was founded in 2006 by DaVita, Inc, a leading kidney care provider in the U.S.  Since that time, it has become an independent nonprofit dedicated to bringing lifesaving dialysis to the developing world.

“Bridge of Life offers hope, treatment, and a return to productive life for many people who, without help, would die,” said Dennis Kogod, chief operating officer of DaVita® and Bridge of Life-DaVita Medical Missions board member. “With 10-11 missions planned in as many countries, we’re going to save a lot of lives.”

Bridge of Life – DaVita Medical Missions is a trademark of Bridge of Life – DaVita Medical Missions.  All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.


About Bridge of Life – DaVita Medical Missions:

Bridge of Life – DaVita Medical Missions, an independent not-for-profit charitable organization, serves those disproportionately affected by chronic kidney disease in developing countries. The organization was established in 2006.