Thursday March 12th is the 10th Anniversary of World Kidney Day, the most widely celebrated event focused on kidney health across the globe. The International Society of Nephrology and the International Federation of Kidney Foundations jointly organize world Kidney Day. This year’s theme “Kidney Health for All” reminds us that not all of us are equal with regards to risk for kidney disease and access to treatment.
With 10% of the population worldwide having some form of kidney damage, there is a long road ahead to raise awareness about the dangers of kidney disease. World Health Organization and other organizations now recognize chronic Kidney Disease, which is predicted to increase by 17% over the next decade, as a global public health issue.
Some communities in both higher and lower income countries are at greater risk than others because of their ethnic origin, socioeconomic status and/or where they live. This has major public health implications because of the extremely high costs of renal replacement therapy. African, American Indian, Hispanic, Asian or Aboriginal populations are known to suffer from higher rates of diabetes and high blood pressure which are both leading causes for Chronic Kidney Disease. These populations are therefore at higher risk of developing severe renal disease and ultimately kidney failure. As an example, in the US, African Americans are 3 times more likely to experience kidney failure. Compared with Caucasians, African Americans have a much higher average blood pressure, develop hypertension earlier in life and have greater risks of complications such as Chronic Kidney Disease, stroke and heart disease.
In addition, there are a number of key issues and challenges in tackling Chronic Kidney Disease in vulnerable populations: poor water hygiene, lack of hydration, unhealthy choice of food and beverages, language barriers, education and literacy levels, low income, unemployment, lack of adequate health insurance, and certain culture-specific health beliefs and practices – just to name a few.
Accurate diagnostic testing is essential for doctors to determine the best course of treatment for their patients. Often rural communities may lack adequate electricity and technology to support a full laboratory and that’s where International Aid’s Lab-In-Suitcase®, with its own power supply, makes a difference. The Lab-In-Suitcase® is a basic portable laboratory that provides many of the laboratory tests most frequently requested by medical practitioners. Lab-In-Suitcase® has components that are capable of testing kidney function. The Urine centrifuge and Microscope, along with supply kits including urine dipsticks, and the Colorimeter (supply kit and reagents such as Creatinine, Albumin, Total Protein and BUN (Blood Urea Nitrogen) are essential to diagnosis of Chronic Kidney Disease. CKD is very treatable when detected early.
As we celebrate World Kidney Day, we also celebrate that we are able to be a part of the change for those who maybe suffering from kidney disease. Thank God for our partner’s who are serving all around the world, and for our Lab-In-Suitcase®…that by God’s amazing grace…TOGETHER, we are saving lives!