World Kidney Day: Kidney Health for Everyone Everywhere
Theme for 2019 is “Kidney Health for Everyone Everywhere”, aiming to highlight the growing burden of kidney disease and kidney health disparity and inequity worldwide.
- 850 million people worldwide are now estimated to have kidney diseases from various causes.
- Chronic kidney disease(CKD) causes at least 2.4 million deaths per year and is now the 6th fastest growing cause of death.
- Chronic Kidney Disease is likely to be the 5th leading cause of Years of Life Lost by 2040.
- Acute kidney injury affects over 13 million people worldwide and 85% of these cases are found in low and middle-income countries (LMICs).
- Around 1.7 people are estimated to die annually because of AKI.
This year, World Kidney Day sets out to raise awareness of the high and increasing burden of kidney diseases worldwide and the need for strategies for kidney diseases prevention and management.
Kidney Health for Everyone Everywhere calls for universal health coverage (UHC) for prevention and early treatment of kidney disease.
The ultimate goal of a UHC policy is to promote population health by ensuring universal, sustainable and equitable access to essential healthcare of high quality, protecting people from health impoverishment and improving equity in health across socioeconomic groups.
Specifically, WKD calls on everyone to advocate for concrete measures in every country to improve kidney care:
- Encourage and adopt healthy lifestyles (access to clean water, exercise, healthy diet, tobacco control. Many types of kidney diseases can be prevented, delayed and / or kept under control when appropriate prevention measures are in place.
- Make screening for kidney diseases a primary healthcare intervention including access to identification tools (e.g. urine and blood tests). Screening of high risk individuals and early diagnosis and treatment is cost effective to prevent or delay end-stage kidney diseases.
- Ensure kidney patients receive basic health services they need (e.g. blood pressure and cholesterol control, essential medications) to delay disease progression without suffering financial hardship.
- Call for transparent policies governing equitable and sustainable access to advanced health care services (e.g. dialysis and transplantation) and better financial protection (e.g. subsidies) as more resources become available. Breaking down socioeconomic barriers and expanding access to comprehensive services in order to meet the needs of the population is essential to guarantee equitable kidney care and increase quality.