Prioritizing "Kidney Health for All" in 2023
Every year, the World Kidney Day organization chooses a theme to raise awareness surrounding kidney health. This year, World Kidney Day falls on March 9, and they have decided to focus on prioritizing kidney health for all. What does this mean?
A Vulnerable Group
When disaster, such as a pandemic or earthquake, overwhelms a community, everyone suffers. However, individuals living with chronic, non-communicable diseases, such as kidney disease, often are at a disproportionate disadvantage. Individuals with kidney disease need regular treatment, medical devices, and potentially surgery. With healthcare staff being overworked and overwhelmed, chronic kidney disease (CDK) is likely to fall under the radar, and disease progression can go unnoticed.
Preparing for the Worst
This year, the World Kidney Day organization is asking policymakers and government bodies to be better prepared. If disaster strikes (as it did during the pandemic), there need to be better preparations for individuals with CDK and other chronic diseases. Also, prevention is always better than treatment – the government should help spread the message of kidney health and overall wellness.
The government tends to focus on the three most common chronic diseases (cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and cancer). However, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 1 in 7 adults in the U.S. have CDK. There needs to be more awareness, education, and discussion surrounding kidney health.
However, patients can also take action to be better prepared for adverse situations. Always ensure that you have extra medical supplies on hand if, for whatever reason, you are unable to get some last-minute. Organize your medical records, understand your treatment plan, and ask questions when you don't.
Education is the first step in encouraging the prevention of CDK. Early detection of the disease can help decrease morbidity rates and get patients the treatment they need sooner rather than later. It is up to policymakers, healthcare workers, and patients alike to spread awareness of CDK and help get the education out there.