WORLD Kidney Day is a global campaign that aims to rise awareness of the importance of kidneys to one’s overall health, and to reduce the frequency and impact of kidney disease and its associated health problems worldwide. It fosters more aggressive intervention by physicians for early detection and treatment, and encourages health authorities around the world to invest in preventive and control measures, such as healthy lifestyle choices. As the incidence of kidney disease escalates, World Kidney Day’s role in educating the public, the medical community and governments has never been more important.
World Kidney Day, celebrated on the second Thursday of March, is a joint initiative of the International Federation of Kidney Foundations (IFKF). This year is marketing the 10th anniversary of World Kidney Day, with a theme ”Kidney Health for All”. This theme reminds us that not all of us are equal with regards to risk for kidney disease and access to treatment. Some communities, in both higher and lower income countries are at greater risk than others because of their ethnic origin, socioeconomic status and/or the place where they live. This has major public health implications because of the extremely high costs of renal replacement therapy.
African, America Indian, Hispanic, Asian or Aboriginal populations are known to suffering from higher rates of diabetes and high blood pressure, which are both leading causes for Chronic Kidney (CKD). These populations are therefore at higher risk of developing severe renal disease and ultimately kidney failure.
In addition, there are a numeric of key issues and challenges in tackling CKD in vulnerable populations, including 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.
This year’s campaign focuses on raising awareness about this issue, while continuing to encourage the importance of adopting a healthy lifestyle, which drastically helps in reducing risk of kidney disease and its progression to kidney failure.