Experience in Africa

  • C. W. N. Spearman
  • A. J. W. Millar
Reference work entry
Part of the Organ and Tissue Transplantation book series (OTT)


Liver transplantation is the accepted mode of treatment for children with end-stage liver disease or acute liver failure. Long-term outcomes have significantly improved, and the aim of management is no longer only long-term survival, but also focuses on quality of life.

Liver transplantation in Africa faces a number of challenges including wide socioeconomic disparities, shortage of skilled medical personnel and facilities, infectious disease burden, and insecure access to and monitoring of immunosuppression. While there is a need for liver transplantation, the establishment and sustainability of transplant programs require careful planning with national government and institutional support. Appropriate training of the transplant team, development of assessment and treatment protocols, and transparent and equitable criteria for organ allocation are important to establish before embarking on a transplant program.

Establishing sustainable, self-sufficient liver transplant programs with equal access to all citizens including access to living-related liver transplantation for countries with no liver transplant programs is an important step toward curtailing transplant tourism and organ trafficking. Development of liver transplant programs has a further beneficial effect of raising the level of medical and surgical care in these countries.


Pediatric liver transplantation Africa Challenges Resource constraints Assessment and treatment protocols 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of Hepatology, Department of Medicine, Faculty of Health SciencesUniversity of Cape TownCape TownSouth Africa
  2. 2.Faculty of Health SciencesGroote Schuur Hospital, University of Cape TownCape TownSouth Africa
  3. 3.Department of Paediatric Surgery, Faculty of Health SciencesRed Cross Children’s Hospital, University of Cape TownCape TownSouth Africa
  4. 4.Faculty of Health SciencesRed Cross Children’s Hospital, University of Cape TownCape TownSouth Africa

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