10-8-13 9:00 AM EDT | Email Article

Bridge of Life – DaVita Medical Missions™, a nonprofit organization dedicated to expanding dialysis and kidney care in underserved communities, is excited to announce the completion of its recent medical mission in India to upgrade the capacity of two dialysis clinics with the support from local partners, India-based DaVita NephroLife® and Human Benefit Services (HBS) Trust.

Bridge of Life first worked with HBS Trust in 2008 to deliver 19 dialysis machines and establish two new dialysis clinics in the Rajasthan cities of Jodhpur and Phalodi. HBS Trust continues to operate the clinics and ensures their sustainability by subsidizing treatment for people who otherwise would not be able to receive dialysis. Today, half of the machines initially installed have gone offline – either worn out due to heavy use or broken with no technician available for repairs.

Bridge of Life partnered with DaVita NephroLife to evaluate existing equipment, identify and source new equipment, and provide local and responsive support while saving Bridge of Life the expenses normally used to send volunteers overseas.

Four volunteers from DaVita NephroLife oversaw the delivery and installation of 10 machines, six of which were donated to Jodhpur and four to Phalodi. Kishore Thomas, DaVita NephroLife’s clinical service specialist, provided updated clinical and biomedical training.

"Bridge of Life and DaVita NephroLife have been outstanding partner organizations,” said Sachin H. Jain, who helped create the dialysis program at HBS Trust. “They have committed to real capacity-building through deep knowledge exchange and equipment donations. Our joint efforts to expand access to quality dialysis services in India is making a significant difference to the lives of patients every day."

“NephroLife and HBS Trust are saving lives by making treatment possible for patients who otherwise would have no options,” said Lori Vaclavik, Bridge of Life’s executive director. “We would not have been able to complete this medical mission without their assistance and expertise.”

The new machines have increased the clinics’ current treatment capacity, and now 15 additional patients who otherwise would not have had other treatment options are able to receive care.

“Patients are happy with the great help and services available to them because of Bridge of Life,” said Girdhari Singh Jakhar, a registered nurse at one of the facilities. “The number of patients who can now receive care and treatments has risen.”

On October 2, the Rajasthan state government in India implemented a new initiative that provides dialysis at no cost to every patient at government-funded facilities, which will result in further increases in treatment capacity at these clinics.

About Bridge of Life

Bridge of Life – DaVita Medical Missions, originally founded by DaVita HealthCare Partners Inc., is an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization whose mission is to help improve kidney health and save lives by bringing treatment, education, and hope to underserved communities around the world. As of August 31, 2013, Bridge of Life has conducted 31 Medical Missions in 11 countries, installed or repaired 184 dialysis machines, trained more than 400 kidney care professionals, and increased the capacity of clinics to provide an estimated 105,000 treatments to more than 1000 additional individuals per year. For more information about the organization, please visit www.bridgeoflifemm.org.

About DaVita NephroLife

DaVita NephroLife is a partnership between DaVita Inc. and NephroLife Care (India) Pvt. Ltd. that offers India's first-of-its-kind renal disease management centre for Acute, Chronic, and End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD). DaVita NephroLife brings together expertise in Nephrology, Dialysis, Urology, Vascular Surgery, General Medicine, Psychology, Diet & Lifestyle Management and Diagnostics. DaVita NephroLife also operates two other centres in Chennai at BRS Hospital, Nungambakkam and Kumaran Hospitals at Poonamallee High Road, which are part of its network of 11 centers across 6 cities. DaVitaNephroLife.com

About Human Benefit Services Trust

Human Benefit Services (HBS) Trust, and its US-affiliate International Human Benefit Services (IHBS), are independent nonprofit organizations whose common mission is to build sustainable health care, education, and social services infrastructure in Rajasthan, India. Founded in 1979, the Trust's operational entities include a 100-bed rural hospital; mobile community-based health services; a K-10 school system; a women's empowerment program; and dialysis centers. The trust has successfully partnered with other global NGOs such as Bridge of Life – DaVita Medical Missions; SightSavers International; Medical Missions for Children; Share and Care Foundation; and others to fulfill its mission of enhancing life in underserved areas of Rajasthan, India. For more information contact: shjain@post.harvard.edu.

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Morningstar - 2013/10/8 - Bridge of Life – DaVita Medical Missions Partners with DaVita NephroLife and HBS Trust to Increase Access to Dialysis Care in India
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