National Kidney Transplant Institute takes home 2 wins at Healthcare Asia Awards 2021

The institute created a COVID Crisis Management Team and became the COVID Dialysis Referral Center.

Philippines’ National Kidney and Transplant Institute (NKTI) received both the Service Innovation of the Year - Philippines and Specialty Hospital of the Year - Philippines trophies at the recently concluded Healthcare Asia Awards 2021.

The awards programme recognised NKTI’s endurance as it strategized its human resources, logistics, and infrastructure to attend and assist COVID-19 patients. The institute created a COVID Crisis Management Team which handles the growing concerns because of the pandemic such as daily updates/census, adherence to safety protocols, supplies, transportation, support, and quarters for the healthcare workers.

NKTI, a specialty government center for renal health and transplantation excels in service, training, and research. Initially, the institute manifested not to accept COVID patients because of confined immunocompromised patients. However, as pandemic ensued, critical moribund COVID patients, both renal and non-renal, went to the NKTI. 

Because of this, NKTI released new advisories. The institute only accepted renal emergency admissions whilst elective admissions and surgeries including transplantation and organ procurement were suspended. Meanwhile, medical and allied support were reassigned to critical areas and a COVID Manual was published. Trimedia was also used for information dissemination. 

NKTI used to perform more than half of the country’s kidney transplants. However, renal admissions dropped by 44% YoY in 2020 compared to 2019, including urologic surgeries, organ retrieval, and renal transplantation. Renal transplants decreased from 300 in 2019 to 129 cases in 2020. 

As a result, some training programs were extended due to lack of cases. The situation worsened with the implementation of lockdowns resulting in patients missing hemodialysis sessions or unclaimed peritoneal dialysis solutions. Other dialysis centers closed down due to the pandemic. 

Because of this, NKTI harnessed the art and science of engineering to build the COVID Tent Field Hospital,  a “mini hospital,” providing tents housing dialysis, radiologic equipment, and even a satellite operating room for vascular access insertion, peritoneal dialysis catheter insertion, and other surgeries on COVID patients. These also housed 15 hemodialysis stations, peritoneal dialysis, post-kidney transplant patients, pediatric patients, watchers, ICU, radiology, and satellite operating rooms. 

A “HOTZONE” with improved ventilation was designated at the hospital’s second floor to move COVID patients from the tents and still maintain cohorting of patients.  NKTI also managed to integrate and transform all efforts towards quality patient care and sustain its operations during the pandemic. 

NKTI aims to live up to their mantra: “Nobody should be left behind and unprotected” which was shown in their projects as they engaged their employees, and institutionalization of values, discipline, and coordination. All efforts considered, NKTI believes that they became a stronger renal institution, especially amidst fighting COVID-19.


Hear from the institute's executive director, Dr. Rose Marie O. Rosete-Liquete, as she talks about their strategies to control and suppress the Covid crisis, with the help of Hemoperfusion, an innovative life-saving treatment for severe to critical COVID-19, and how it became one of the most trusted specialty hospitals in the country today.

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