Kidney Health for Everyone Everywhere

14thMarch 2019


850 MILLION PEOPLE WORLDWIDE are now estimated to have kidney diseases from various causes. CKD causes at least 2.4 million deaths per year and is now the 6th fastest growing cause of death. Acute kidney injury (AKI), an important driver of CKD, affects over 13 million people worldwide and 85% of these cases are found in low and middle-income countries. Around 1.7 million people are estimated to die annually because of AKI.

Despite the growing burden of kidney disease worldwide, kidney health disparity and inequity are still widespread. CKD and AKI often arise from the social conditions, in which people are born, grow, live, work and age including poverty, gender discrimination, lack of education, occupational hazards and pollution among others.

Early diagnosis, prevention and delay of progression are sustainable options to reduce costs and consequences of kidney disease for individuals and countries. Yet, barriers to available, accessible, adequate and quality kidney care persist.

In 2019, in its 14th year of existence, World Kidney Day will be marked on March 14. The campaign sets out to raise awareness of the high and increasing burden of kidney disease worldwide and of the need for strategies for kidney disease prevention and management.

World Kidney Day is a joint initiative of the International Society of Nephrology (ISN)and the International Federation of Kidney Foundations (IFKF).

Celebrated every year on the second Thursday of March, World Kidney Day (WKD) is a global initiative that aims at increasing awareness of the importance of our kidneys to our health and reducing the impact of kidney disease and its associated problems worldwide.


Key messages:


  • 850 million people suffer from kidney disease
  • Kidney disease is currently the 11th leading cause of global mortality.
  • Between 2.3 -7.1 million premature deaths for lack of access to dialysis and transplantation
  • Kidney diseases often arise from the social conditions in which people are born, grow, live and work (e.g. poverty, gender discrimination, lack of education, occupational hazards and pollution among others)
  • In many countries, treatments for kidney disease are often inaccessible due to among others high out-of-pocket costs, lack of infrastructure and of specialized health care professionals
  • More than half of countries that have an overarching NCD strategy in place have no management guidelines or strategy for improving the care of people with CKD.
  • Given the alarming increase of kidney disease globally, a drastic change and improvement in kidney disease prevention and treatment is needed. In turn, screening for high-risk individuals and early diagnosis and treatment are cost effective to prevent or delay end-stage kidney diseases.
  • World Kidney Day calls on everyone to advocate for concrete measures in every country to improve kidney care.

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