March 9 is World Kidney Day: Join the Global Awareness Campaign

March 9 is World Kidney Day: Join the Global Awareness Campaign

March 9 is World Kidney Day, an event that since 2006 has raised awareness about kidney health and chronic kidney disease (CKD).

Hundreds of events take place worldwide, from public screenings in Argentina to zumba marathons in Malaysia – all to spread the word about how to prevent kidney disease and tips on living with this ever-growing illness. World Kidney Day is a joint initiative of the  Brussels-based International Society of Nephrology (ISN) and the International Federation of Kidney Foundations (IFKF), headquartered in the Netherlands.

This year’s World Kidney Day theme, “Kidney Disease and Obesity,” aims to remind the public how diabetes and high blood pressure are critical risk factors for CKD.

“Obesity is one of the strongest risk factors for new-onset chronic kidney disease, and also for nephrolithiasis and for kidney cancers,”: Dr. Csaba Kovesdy, Dr. Susan Furth and Dr. Carmine Zoccali wrote in the editorial, “Obesity and kidney disease: hidden consequences of the epidemic,” published recently in Kidney International, the ISN’s official journal. “This year’s World Kidney Day promotes education on the harmful consequences of obesity and its association with kidney disease, advocating healthy lifestyle and health policy measures that make preventive behaviors an affordable option.”

The campaign aims to encourage people at risk to get screened for CKD as well as learn more about lifesaving organ donations. Kidney transplants are now considered the best treatment for many people because it frees them from dialysis treatment. However, the waiting list for available kidneys is long.

Organizers of World Kidney Day remind those considering donating a kidney that any living relative or friend can donate, as only one kidney is required to survive. In general, organs from living donors function better, with live donor transplants enjoying a 90 to 95 percent success rate.

Those interested in participating in World Kidney Day 2017 can access a campaign toolkit that includes a short description of the day, information on kidney disease and obesity, tips and ideas on how to get involved and spread the word, and a #move4kidneys hashtag usable for social media platforms to connect with others joining in the fight.

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