This World Kidney Day, 12 March 2020 campaign aims at spreading awareness and advocating about the prevention of Chronic Kidney Diseases (CKD). The global burden of CKD is increasing and is a major cause of catastrophic health expenditure.Pressingly, various kidney diseases can be prevented and development to end-stage kidney disease can be adjourned with quick access to basic diagnostics and early treatment. However, while national policies and strategies for multiple other diseases in general are present in many countries, specific policies directed toward education and awareness about kidney disease as well as CKD screening, management and treatment are often lacking. 

This year, the World Kidney Day 2020 campaign features the importance of prevention to deter the onset and progression of kidney disease. The prevention of CKD can be done in three ways:

  • Primary Prevention: It intervenes before the disease occurs and affects the health, which can be done by promoting healthy lifestyles including physical activity and healthy diets, screening for patients at higher CKD risk with the aid of urine and blood tests and keeping screening data in a CKD registry. Taking into consideration the risk factors such as diabetes mellitus and hypertension, unhealthy diets, structural abnormalities of the kidney and urinary tracts or nephrotoxicity levels.
  • Secondary Prevention: In patients having kidney diseases, proper treatment is very important to prevent the development of severe CKD. Blood pressure optimization and hypoglycemic control along with clinical interventions during the right time is crucial. Plant-based diets and pharmacotherapy can also help.
  • Tertiary prevention: For people already suffering from advanced CKD, management of comorbidities such as uremia and cardiovascular disease is of high priority. Control of disease progression is the main goal. 

With increasing cases of CKD worldwide, educating and promoting preventive measures for CKD are becoming critical. In order for the importance of the “Prevention approach” of kidney disease and kidney failure to be recognized, promotion programs for healthcare professionals including nephrology fellowship programs and non-specialist training; effective and efficient education and awareness programs for the general population and partnerships for patient empowerment are key.

In 2020, World Kidney Day calls on everyone to advocate for concrete measures in every country to promote and advance kidney disease prevention, including:

  • Focus on primary care, awareness raising and education including patient empowerment and cross-specialty training.
  • Integration of CKD prevention into national NCD programs for far-reaching and integrated services, which are fundamental in improving the early detection and tracking of CKD.
  • Whole-of-government, whole-of-society, health in all policies, multisectoral collaboration to promote prevention of kidney disease.
  • There is a need to increase the awareness of the importance of preventive measures throughout populations, professionals and policy makers.

It is necessary that we strengthen and facilitate education, early detection and a healthy lifestyle in children and adults, starting at birth through to old age, to combat the increase of preventable kidney damage including acute kidney injury and Chronic Kidney Diseases and to treat children with inborn and acquired disorders of the kidney.