The World Marks Kidney Day

The international society of Nephrology and international federation of Kidney foundation jointly celebrates the 10th anniversary of the World Kidney Day, on Thursday, March 12.

The theme of this years’ edition of the widely celebrated event is, “Kidney Health for All.” The theme, according to organizers, was meant to remind all that not everyone is equal with regards to the risk for kidney disease and access to treatment.

The organizers said with 10 per cent of the World’s population having some form of kidney damage, there is a long road ahead to raise awareness about the dangers of kidney disease.

The World Health Organization and other health organizations, has recognized the Chronic Kidney Disease, CKD, which is predicted to increase by 17 per cent over the next decade, as a global public health issue.

The WKD Steering Committee ISN Co-chair, Dr. Philip Li is calling on the whole kidney community and beyond to get involved in this global celebration adding that, “Sharing a glass of water is a good way to remind us that kidneys are vital organs that should be taken good care of whether you are at risk or not. Taking steps to live a healthy lifestyle clearly helps to reduce risk, and early treatment can slow or prevent the progression of kidney disease.”

WHO says communities in both higher and lower income countries are at greater risk than others because of their ethnic origin, socioeconomic status and or where they live.

This has major public health implications because of the extremely high costs of renal replacement therapy. African, American, Indian, Hispanic, Asian or Aboriginal populations are known to suffer from higher rates of diabetes and high blood pressure which are both leading causes for Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD).

These populations are therefore at higher risk of developing severe renal disease and ultimately kidney failure. As an example, in the US, African Americans are 3 times more likely to experience kidney failure. Compared with Caucasians, African Americans have a much higher average blood pressure, develop hypertension earlier in life and have greater risks of complications such as CKD, stroke and heart disease.

In addition to that, experts say there are a number of key issues and challenges in tackling Chronic Kidney Disease in vulnerable populations. These, they say, include poor water hygiene, lack of hydration, unhealthy choice of food and beverages, language barriers, education and literacy levels, low income, unemployment, lack of adequate health insurance, and certain culture-specific health beliefs and practices just to name a few.

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