‘Kidney health for all’ is the slogan for World Kidney Day 2023 (Thursday 9 March), with a focus on preparing for the unexpected, and supporting the vulnerable.
More than 850 million people worldwide are living with kidney disease and are particularly affected by disastrous events, when their care plans are interrupted.
‘The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the challenges faced by healthcare systems to provide essential health services and a policy deficit in managing consistent access to care,’ said Agnes Fogo, President of the International Society of Nephrology and Latha Kumaraswami, President of the International Federation of Kidney Foundations.
‘As the number of disastrous events has increased in recent years, it is essential to ensure safe, sustainable, and continuous health services for those in need of lifelong ongoing complex treatments, such as people living with kidney disease.’
Action plan needed
Organisers say the 2023 call to action is for the whole of society, including policymakers, health care services, governments, industry, as well as people living with kidney disease and their carers, to be well prepared for unexpected events.
‘Having a plan of action for the management of patients in continuing care and a response plan for any future events that could result in disruptions of patient care delivery, will improve the efficiency of public health services in times of crisis,’ said Alessandro Balducci, who’s based at the Italian Kidney Foundation.
‘The responsibility lies at all levels of care, with an imperative to be systematic and collaborative,’ said Robyn Langham, co-chair of the WKD Joint Steering Committee for ISN, based at the University of Melbourne.
‘Governments must develop and implement adequate policies to provide a framework for adaptive, robust, and resilient healthcare systems to function optimally for all patients during emergencies and recovery, supported by healthcare services, NGOs and the community. Engaged and prepared patient cohorts, integral to planning, is also critical,’ she said.
Global experts agree that kidney disease needs to be included in disaster preparedness plans, highlighting the importance of providing business-as-usual ongoing care for kidney patients during unexpected times.