On March 14th, everyone all over the world will be celebrating World Kidney Day. This major day stresses the need for Kidney Health for Everyone, Everywhere. It’s estimated that 850 million people will be diagnosed with kidney disease, and despite how large this number is, kidney disease still affects people based on social and economic standards. The majority of patients with the disease live in poverty and are affected by discrimination, lack of education, and pollution among many other factors. Chronic Kidney Disease, (CKD), is responsible for an estimated 2.4 million deaths a year and is known as the 6th fastest growing cause of death. Because of these intense numbers, awareness of World Kidney Day is especially important.
The Trouble with Kidney Disease
As mentioned before, disparity, inequity, and government policies affect the prevention and treatment of kidney disease(s), mostly in these specific instances:
- Transplantation Difficulties: Transplantation, while the most effective treatment, also has an expansive setup cost, requires specialized teams not easily accessible in certain communities, and needs donors themselves along with a dialysis backup; barriers are also found in infrastructure an in cultural bias against organ donors.
- NCD Policies: Non-communicable diseases hold several different policies and strategies at prevention, screening, and treatment around the world, but many of these policies are lacking when focused on kidney diseases. Over 53% of countries who have NCD strategies in place have no management guidelines or strategy for improving the care of people with CKD.
How to Help
To help the theme of Kidney Health For Everyone, Everywhere, there needs to be universal health coverage for prevention and early treatment of kidney diseases. This solution directly affects promoting equal and accessible high-quality healthcare for everyone, no matter their stance in society. Reaching this goal is no easy task which is why World Kidney Day needs advocates in every country who support concrete measures towards improving kidney care. Here are some ways to promote this message:
- Adopt and Encourage Healthy Lifestyles: This can prevent many types of kidney diseases, as well as help to control and treat them.
- Screening for Kidney Diseases Becomes a Primary Health Care Intervention: Screening will effectively prevent diseases and will also cause for early treatment in individuals who are diagnosed.
- Support Policies: Governing equitable and sustainable access to high-quality care and better financial protection. This will also help to break down socio-economic barriers and assist the entire population’s needs for better kidney care quality.
Remember to spread awareness about World Kidney Day and always keep your kidneys healthy. Happy World Kidney Day!
World Kidney Day. (2019). 2019 WKD Theme. Retrieved from: https://www.worldkidneyday.org/2019-campaign/2019-wkd-theme/.