oa Wits Journal of Clinical Medicine - Wits Transplant Annual Data Report 2018 - adult and paediatric liver transplantation

Volume 1 Number 3
  • ISSN : 2618-0189
  • E-ISSN: 2618-0197



Wits Donald Gordon Medical Centre (WDGMC) is part of the University of Witwatersrand’s Academic Teaching Hospital Complex, within the Faculty of Health Sciences, Johannesburg, South Africa. Wits Transplant, a transplantation unit at WDGMC, hosts the largest adult and paediatric liver transplant programme in the country. From the inception of the programme in 2004 to the end of 2018, liver transplants were performed in 410 adults and 174 children with acute or chronic end-stage liver disease (ESLD). To increase organ availability, routine splitting of suitable deceased donor livers where possible was implemented. This procedure splits a single deceased donor liver to produce two usable grafts. Moreover, in 2012 the first paediatric living donor liver transplant (LDLT) programme in South Africa was started. Both initiatives contribute substantially to increasing the number of transplants performed annually, and there is still further capacity within the programme for expansion. However, each year, wait-listed adults and children are lost due to organ shortages. Despite considerable challenges, Wits Transplant has created a model of equitable care that provides access to transplantation for any adult or child with ESLD, irrespective of payer status. As the programme continues to expand and diversify, and in the absence of a national liver transplant registry, annual reporting of outcomes was implemented, which is mandatory in many international transplant centres. As such, this is the first annual report for Wits Transplant.

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