Every year the second Thursday of March is celebrated as ‘World Kidney Day’ across the world. A health awareness campaign is jointly initiated by the International Society of Nephrology and the International Federation of Kidney Foundations on this day.
The first World Kidney Day was observed in 2006 with 66 countries participating and now the number has gone up to 88. It is aimed at raising awareness about the importance of kidneys and kidney-related diseases hence reducing the frequency and impact of such ailments worldwide.
Each year a theme is decided for the day to focus on various aspects of the subject and the theme for this year is ‘Living Well with Kidney Disease’. This has been done to empower kidney patients and their family members to help them deal with the trauma.
The patients, as well as their care partners, should feel supported especially in challenging circumstances such as the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the National Health Portal of India, one in 10 people is affected by a kidney disease globally taking the total tally to more than 850 million in the world.
It becomes important to observe this day because Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) has become the 6th fastest-growing cause of death. 1.7 million people are estimated to die annually because of acute kidney injury (AKI) globally.
CKD is known to be a ‘silent killer’ as it is difficult to detect especially in the early stages and is not cured easily. Kidney diseases are usually non-communicable and diabetes, high blood pressure are seen as the worst enemies of kidneys.
The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare offers ‘National Dialysis Programme’ under the National Health Mission to provide life-saving procedures to people suffering kidney ailments at an affordable cost. The Union Minister for Health & Family Welfare Dr Harsh Vardhan took to Twitter to inform people know about this program:
Chronic kidney diseases are silent killers.
Under our PM National Dialysis Program, we are ensuring accessible & affordable dialysis services for everyone.
— Dr Harsh Vardhan (@drharshvardhan) March 11, 2021
If detected at an early stage, the chances of recovery are high. With these simple lifestyle changes, you can ensure that your kidneys remain healthy:
- Keep your blood sugar level in check
- Monitor your blood pressure
- Be active
- Maintain a healthy diet
- Don’t take over-the-counter pain-killers regularly
- Get your kidneys checked once or twice yearly