Raising global awareness of kidney disease

Celebrated on the second Thursday in March, World Kidney Day was launched in 2006 as a joint initiative of the International Society of Nephrology (ISN) and the International Federation of Kidney Foundations (IFKF). The idea was to engage the public, health professionals and authorities in a campaign to raise awareness of the importance of our kidneys to our overall health and to reduce the frequency and impact of kidney disease and its associated health problems worldwide.

How we helped: Since we got involved, World Kidney Day has grown dramatically from just a handful of events in 9 countries, to become the most widely celebrated event focused on kidney health not only in Europe but around the world. In 2012 World Kidney Day was celebrated in 154 countries including a major event in the European Parliament. Each year World Kidney Day enjoys global media coverage with reports on the BBC, CNN and national television. The WKD global community comes together through the central hub www.worldkidneyday.org, and has an impressive prominence on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. But most importantly, in some countries the World Kidney Day campaign catalyzes meetings between patients and health authorities to improve early detection and treatment.

Looking forward: With WKD now established as an annual global awareness campaign, the challenge remains to translate this remarkable outpouring of public support into effective political action to benefit patients with kidney disease around the world.