The organisation is run on a voluntary basis by a committee elected by its members. Running costs are minimal since they consist of stationery, postages, and other out of pocket expenses; therefore 100% of the funds which are donated for a specific project can be used for that purpose, without the deduction of any overhead costs. During the 25 years that the KZNKA has been serving the community, it has received support from many sources. There are few organisations that have provided support time and time again over the years.

  Public Relations Finances The David Hepburn Study Award

Our major public relations drive takes place annually at the Comrades Experience - Durban. This is not a political gathering as the name might suggest! but the exhibition which precedes the world famous Comrades Marathon which is run between Durban and Pietermaritzburg, a distance of some 88kms or 53 miles. It is in fact, an ultra marathon and the number of participants grows each year.

On average some 12000 runners plus their families, visit the Comrades Experience, and increasing numbers of them stop at the KZN Kidney Association stand where their blood pressure is checked and basic medical advice is available from trained personnel. This is done free of charge, and in return each person is encouraged to carry an organ donor card and asked to invite friends and relatives to do the same.

The KZNKA has participated for 12 consecutive years. Like the runners who participate in the race 10 times, after the 10th year we received our own permanent "green number". 

The day to day running expenses of the KZNKA are met from subscriptions plus interest on donations. The real work, however, depends entirely on donations. Although we are proud of what has been achieved during the past 25 years, we are conscious that there is a great deal more that needs doing. We are therefore constantly seeking businesses with a social conscience, philanthropists and other individuals, willing to contribute funds to help us achieve our goals.

David Hepburn suffered from kidney disease and eventually kidney failure. He received a transplant from a sister, but unfortunately that was eventually rejected and he died, leaving a young wife and two small children. His family, friends and business associates made such generous donations to the KZNKA in his memory, that is was decided to invest that money and make an annual award from the income derived.

The rules of the award were set in the early 80s and there has been no need to amend them since. The candidates must be qualified doctors, nurses or paramedic persons who wish to further their studies or undertake research into kidney disease. They must work with a recognised institution, in South Africa or overseas. If overseas, they must undertake to return to South Africa for at least three years after completing their studies so that this country may benefit from their new expertise. Preference is given to persons under 50 years of age.

Thanks to the Hepburn award, many candidates have been able to improve their knowledge and experience, which has helped build a solid base of highly qualified persons in our country

Kidney transplants

In South Africa, as in most countries, the National and Provincial governments are chronically short of funds to provide a full range of health services to the community. One of the Provincial hospitals, which was in every other way qualified and able to undertake renal transplants, found that the shortage of nursing staff combined with a very tight budget, made it impossible to provide already overworked qualified nurses to deal with cadaver donor transplants. The Kidney Association stepped in and offered to pay for qualified nurses from the private sector to come in on these occasions, which means that transplants from such donors have been performed for many years.



incorporated association not for gain registration no: 1977/002650/08

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Kwa Zulu Natal Kidney Association,
P.O.Box 1332, Durban, 4000, ajfa@iafrica.com