World Kidney Day on March 10

ISLAMABAD: World Kidney Day will be observed across the globe, including Pakistan, on March 10 to raise awareness about the importance of kidneys to overall health and to reduce frequency and impact of kidney disease and its associated problems.

World Kidney Day (WKD) is a joint initiative of the International Society of Nephrology (ISN) and the International Federation of Kidney Foundations (IFKF). Since the first campaign over ten years ago, World Kidney Day has turned into a global phenomenon.

On March 10, medical professionals, government officials, the general public, celebrities and patients will take action locally. Past World Kidney Days have seen more than 600 events in well over 90 countries participating in the World Kidney Day events.

According to Pakistan Society of Nephrology (PSN), around 20,000 Pakistanis die of kidney failure every year as the chronic kidney disease (CKD) is rapidly growing in Pakistan due to late diagnosis, high volume of kidney stone disease and increasing number of patients with diabetes and high blood pressure. Around 600 million persons worldwide have some form of kidney damage.

Chronic kidney disease is predicted to increase by 17 per cent over the next decade, and is now recognized as a global public health issue. The theme for 2016 will focus on Kidney Disease and Children: Act Early to Prevent It.

The objectives of the day are to highlight that diabetes and high blood pressure are key risk factors for CKD.

People will be encouraged to undergo systematic screening for diabetes and hypertension. The events of the day  will encourage preventive behaviours, will educate medical professionals about their key role in detecting and reducing the risk of CKD, particularly in high risk populations and will stress on the important role that local and national health authorities play in controlling the CKD epidemic.

Health authorities worldwide will have to deal with high and escalating costs if no action is taken to treat the growing number of people with CKD. On World Kidney Day all governments are encouraged to take action and invest in further kidney screening.