What Is World Kidney Day and How Can You Spread Awareness of It?

Our kidneys fulfill a crucial function: filtering out waste and excess fluids from our blood. This helps maintain the overall balance of chemicals in our bodies. With such an important role to play, any abnormalities in our kidneys can easily lead to various health complications that may take years–even a lifetime’s worth–of treatment.

But how do you even begin taking care of your kidneys? What symptoms should you watch out for and how do you get treatment should you be afflicted with a kidney disease? The first step begins with knowledge about this essential body organ, and that is what the observance of World Kidney Day aims to provide.

Spreading Kidney Health Awareness

World Kidney Day is a global campaign held every second Thursday of March. Its primary goal is to spread kidney health awareness and empower those with chronic kidney diseases (CKD) through support as well as better care and medical options. Participants include patients, health practitioners, and the general public. 

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Not only can those living with kidney diseases find the help and support they aptly need, but doctors and researchers can also share recent breakthroughs in treating kidney-related diseases. Meanwhile, the general public can be properly informed on symptoms if they are ever at any risk of such ailments and how to keep their own kidneys at optimum condition.

Part of spreading kidney health awareness is recognizing those afflicted with kidney-related diseases. These can be done through various means, such as wearing silicone bracelets that show support to health-related campaigns. Another is by attending talks where those with CKD are invited to share their experiences on how they face the challenges that come with it. The World Kidney Day campaign takes these initiatives further and ensures they reach a wider audience for everyone’s benefit.

Kidney Care for All

This 2024, the World Kidney Day’s theme is: Advancing equitable access to care and optimal medication practice. According to the 2019 Global Health Data Exchange prepared by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, 850 million people worldwide are afflicted with CKD. As kidney ailments require consistent treatment procedures such as dialysis or at times even a transplant, it is of utmost importance to have readily available information and options on how to avail such medical services. Different people also have different means. Hence, it’s why these options must also take into account affordability and accessibility, especially for those living in far-flung areas.

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By highlighting “equitable access” in this year’s theme, there is emphasis on overcoming barriers that prevent those with kidney ailments from getting the care and treatment they deserve. As stated on their campaign website, World Kidney Day aims to address this by touching upon the following points:

  • Encouraging targeted health policies that directly address kidney-related diseases, ensuring that knowledge dissemination is done efficiently among the public and health professionals alike. This also makes it feasible for kidney health programs to secure more funding.
  • Improving healthcare delivery among those who need them. Many patients suffer not only because of their illness but also because health facilities are sometimes unequipped or lacking in relevant staff to provide them with effective treatment. Various patient-centered strategies need to be enforced to ensure these needs are properly met.
  • Enhanced training for healthcare professionals is also important as it ties in with the previous point. New therapies and treatment procedures are continuously being developed for kidney diseases yet not all health professionals may be aware of them. Through training, seminars, and reviewing of current guidelines, doctors can provide the best care possible for their patients by effectively applying the knowledge that they gained.
  • Patient empowerment is an important aspect in spreading kidney health awareness as it puts forward those living with kidney diseases and allows them to tell their stories. The effect is two-fold: one, as a means to create a support system for fellow patients; and two, enabling the general public to make informed decisions about their lifestyle choices with the goal of maintaining the health of their kidneys.

What Can I Do?

World Kidney Day offers various activities to help give the campaign a boost, some of which can be done in the convenience of your smartphone. One is through the hashtag #ShowYourKidneys which prompts participants to snap a photo of themselves back and front while using their fists to point out the location of their kidneys. Captions expressing gratitude to this essential organ are also encouraged. Show love to those hard-working kidneys of yours!

Another means to help is to purchase any item from the World Kidney Day shop. This helps both in spreading awareness and providing the funds needed to help keep the campaign up and running. Of course, you may also directly donate any amount in support to this advocacy. 

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World Kidney Day may only come once a year, but taking care of our kidneys is a round-the-year commitment. Make sure you have the right information to do so, and remember that you can always share this knowledge with others so that they too can be informed of how they can take proper care of their kidneys.