- World Kidney Day (WKD) is observed annually to raise awareness about kidney disease, its prevention and treatment
- WKD 2018 aims to focus on women with kidney disease and to address the gender inequalities with respect to access to kidney care in this group
- Chronic kidney disease (CKD) affects about 195 million women worldwide and the 8th leading cause of death in women accounting for approximately 600,000 deaths each year
History of World Kidney Day
World Kidney Day is a global health initiative observed annually and aims to increase awareness of kidney diseases, associated health conditions and ways to prevent them. It is celebrated every year globally on the 2nd Thursday of March
. It was started 11 years ago in the year 2006
with the participation of 66 countries which grew rapidly to become 88 countries in just 2 years.
The WKD began as the joint effort of the "International Society of Nephrology and International Federation of Kidney Foundations"
. Several health organizations across the world come together on this day to raise awareness among common people that most of the kidney diseases
can be prevented and are potentially curable. Health organizations organize this event at many places to spread messages about common kidney diseases, associated complications, available resources to treat them and more importantly preventing kidney diseases.
‘Increasing awareness, addressing the gender inequalities and improving access to affordable kidney care services for women is the need of the hour.’
World Kidney Day - Objectives
- Educating the people about association of kidney problems to common health conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure which may end in chronic kidney disease
- Encourage the common public to undergo regular screening of common problems like diabetes or hypertension.
- Raise awareness on measures to prevent kidney disease such as optimal control of blood pressure and blood sugar, maintain healthy weight and avoiding smoking
- Educating medical professionals about the importance of early diagnosis and treatment of risk factors that can lead to chronic kidney disease
- It is celebrated to improve existing health care systems and to implement the new strategies by motivating the government authorities.
- Make available affordable and easy access to renal care therapies such as dialysis
- Raise awareness among people about the kidney donation and transplantation as an option to save the life of a CKD patient
World Kidney Day 2018 - Kidney and Women's Health
Although women are as likely (or even slightly more) as men to develop CKD, access to kidney care sadly remains low
. The possible reasons for this could be as follows:
- CKD progression is slower in women compared to men
- Economic and psychosocial barriers such as lower disease awareness and uneven access to health care in developing countries
- Unequal gender distribution of kidney transplants due to social, cultural and economic factors even in countries that boast of improved access to health care among women. Typically women are more likely to donate rather than receive a kidney
Addressing these inequalities urgently becomes important since autoimmune renal disease such as lupus nephritis, urinary tract infection (UTI) associated kidney disease
are more common in women. Kidney disease in pregnancy
(preeclampsia) can also adversely affect the outcome of pregnancy for both the mother and the baby.
Women should enjoy
affordable and timely access to kidney health such as medical treatment, dialysis and kidney transplant to reduce progression to CKD and provide an equal chance of pursuing a healthy and productive life
Events such as the WKD hope to raise awareness among women and their families regarding the importance of kidney health, and its prevention and early diagnosis and treatment.
What We Can Do To Spread Awareness About CKD Prevention and Treatment
- Use social media such as Facebook and Twitter to good effect to share messages about CKD prevention
- Educational messages and posters are available for download online and can be used for this purpose
- Bringing out messages in the print and visual media as well as through educational broadcasts on the radio
- Conducting free kidney health check-ups on this day including blood pressure and blood sugar screening, focusing on women
- Creating awareness about need for continued antenatal care during pregnancy for early detection and treatment of any issues
- Raising awareness about kidney donation and transplant and to dispel associated myths and misconceptions
- Involve local administration to make people friendly policies to achieve this goal
- Institutions can organize lectures or seminars to educate the youth about kidney disease and transplant
- As individuals we can organize fundraisers in our community and donate the proceeds to kidney care organizations or for kidney disease research
Health Tips to Prevent CKD
- Maintain healthy weight and exercise regularly
- Adequate control of high blood pressure and/or high blood sugar; testing periodically for urine sugar and protein
- Consume a healthy diet rich in fresh vegetables and fruits; avoid fried and processed foods
- Remain adequately hydrated
- Limit or avoid smoking and alcohol
- Avoid taking over the counter (OTC) painkillers without doctor's advice
- Seek immediate medical attention for any new onset symptoms such as blood in urine, increased thirst and urinary frequency, headache, abdominal pain, breathlessness
Kidney disease progresses silently and often remains undetected until late when treatment options are limited. Prevention and early diagnosis of kidney disease remain key to decreasing the incidence of CKD and associated complications and mortality. References:
- World Kidney Day - (http://www.indiacelebrating.com/events/world-kidney-day/)
- World Kidney Day 2018 - (https://www.theisn.org/advocacy/world-kidney-day)