Umoona Kidney Project

In 1998 we began a Servier-sponsored three-year renal disease prevention and management program, working with the local Aboriginal community in Coober Pedy, in South Australia’s remote far north.

The Umoona project used, for the first time, a small portable device called the DCA 2000 to conduct point-of-care (POC) pathology testing for urine albumin:creatinine ratio (ACR), a key marker for early renal disease.

Early renal disease was revealed among the 158 adults assessed, with 19 percent having persistent previously undiagnosed microalbuminuria. 35 community members considered at the highest risk of renal disease were placed on a management plan which included the use of Coversyl. Across the next two years, significant improvements were seen in blood pressure and renal function.

From these humble beginnings and as a direct result of Servier’s initial sponsorship I have been fortunate to develop and manage a series of POC models for chronic disease prevention and management across Australia (75% of which are based in rural and remote Australia).

We now have a strong evidence base that POC testing provides a convenient and accessible service for patients, is analytically sound and provides an effective means of health service delivery for diabetes and renal disease in rural and remote Australia.

Servier continues to sponsor my unit in projects such as the Diabetes Management Along the Mallee Track Programme based in Northwest Victoria.

"Servier’s commitment and support has been invaluable in helping my unit grow from humble beginnings to a national leader in the field of point-of-care testing"
Mark Shephard, Director and Senior Research Fellow,
Community Point-of-Care Services, Flinders University Adelaide