• end-stage renal disease;
  • renal replacement therapies;
  • renal transplantation;
  • sub-Saharan Africa


Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a public health problem in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) but there is limited data to guide programs or plan interventions. To help set priorities and understand the needs for renal replacement therapy a baseline assessment is required. World Health Organization (WHO) databases and Medline were searched to determine the number of physicians, nephrologists, and dialysis centers and patients in SSA. Data on renal transplant (RTx) programs were collected from the WHO Global Observatory on Donation & Transplantation database for deceased-donor and living-donor RTx. Of the 47 countries in SSA only 15 had recent data with most rates of physicians per 10 000 population under 2.0. Nigeria and South Africa had the greatest absolute numbers of physicians and nephrologists but Mauritius had the greatest proportion to population. South Africa had the most dialysis patients. Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa were the only countries with RTx programs and reported rates per million population of 0.60, 0.23 and 5.12, respectively. Treatment for patients with CKD in SSA is limited by a lack of physicians, nephrologists, and dialysis centers. Few countries are performing RTx. Resources are needed to increase the health workforce and increase RTx programs in SSA.