- There is widespread kidney health disparity and inequity
- Incidence of kidney diseases are on the rise
- Adequate kidney transplant is not accessible for all
March 14 is observed as World Kidney Day. The day is meant to raise awareness about the importance of taking care of kidneys. Every year, World Kidney Day is celebrated all across the globe, featuring awareness campaigns, programs and discussions about the importance of kidneys, causes of kidney diseases, risk factors associated with them, and how to live with a kidney disease. The theme of World Kidney Day 2019 is "Kidney health for everyone, everywhere." As many as 850 million people across the world are suffering from kidney diseases. Chronic kidney diseases are in fact the 6th fastest growing cause of death, with 2.4 million deaths per year.
World Kidney Day: Theme and Significance
There is widespread kidney health disparity and inequity, despite the growing burden of kidney disease on global health. Chronic kidney disease and acute kidney injuries often take place because of the social conditions in which people are born, where the grow up, live, work and age. Lack of education, poverty, gender disparity, pollution and occupational hazards also influence risk of kidney disease.
Lack of accessible treatment
Kidney transplant - though it is considered to be the most cost-effective treatment of kidney disease - is way out of budget of a majority of population. Lack of physical and legal infrastructure for organ donors, dialysis back up and highly specialised teams has made adequate treatment for kidney disease inaccessible for many.
There is also a lack of specific policies for prevention, screening and treatment of kidney diseases. 53% countries have an over-reaching strategy towards non-communicable diseases, with no management guidelines or a strategy for improvement.
Thus, on this World Kidney Day, it is important to raise awareness about increasing incidence of kidney diseases and the need for strategies for kidney disease and management.
Following are some tips for people to adequately take care of their kidney health:
1. Follow a healthy lifestyle and make sure you drink lots of water. Avoid alcohol consumption, smoking, fried food, processed and packaged food as much as possible.
2. Go for kidney screenings every year. Timely diagnosis and treatment is the key to preventing and treating kidney diseases.
3. Countries should ensure that kidney patients receive all the basic health services including medications. Everything should be done to ensure delay of disease progression, without being too hard on the bearer's pocket.
4. There is also a need for transparent governing policies and sustainable access to proper healthcare services. Treatments should be subsidised in order to make it accessible for all.
This world kidney day, let's try to take care of our kidneys by eating healthy, living a healthy lifestyle and doing everything that is possible to raise awareness about ways to maintain kidney health.
(With inputs from worldkidneyday.org)
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