World Kidney Day takes place every year on the second Thursday in March, which this year is March 10. The theme for 2022 has been set by the World Kidney Day Joint Steering Committee as "Kidney health for all". The committee is calling for a concerted effort to address the knowledge gaps around kidney care.
The kidneys' functions include filtering harmful substances from the blood and draining excess fluid from the body. However, in an estimated one in ten adults, these functions are impaired, and they have some form of chronic kidney disease (CKD).
Most often, elevated blood pressure and advanced diabetes are the cause of damage to the kidneys. These cannot be reversed. However, if CKD is detected in time, its progression can be slowed or even stopped.
Its progress is divided into five stages, depending on the extent of functional impairment. Stage 5 is called chronic kidney failure - the kidneys can then no longer perform their functions. People with chronic kidney failure require kidney replacement therapy, either dialysis or a transplant.
To prevent this, the aim of World Kidney Day is to raise awareness of chronic kidney disease and the influence of its major risk factors - not only in the healthcare sector, but also among the general public and politicians. To this end, the official website provides a wealth of information about CKD as well as a world map on which activities and events surrounding the day can be entered. Campaign material is also available there.
Social media users who want to support the day of action can do so with the hashtags #WorldKidneyDay and #ShowYourKidneys. For #ShowYourKidneys, the campaign website has instructions for a photo campaign to remind people of the kidneys' position in the body.
Medical research is not idle either, of course. CDK cannot be cured yet, but we can do a lot for healthy kidneys today.