Help support those suffering from kidney-related diseases on March 09
Kidney disease affects around 1.7 million Australians, with two people dying every hour from kidney-related diseases. This article looks at how World Kidney Day is helping to raise awareness of kidney disease and the importance of looking after your kidneys by leading a healthy lifestyle.
What is World Kidney Day?
World Kidney Day is an annual event held across the globe on the second Thursday of March. Its aim is to raise awareness of kidney health including risk factors, preventative behaviours and how to live with kidney disease.
The specific objectives of World Kidney Day include:
- To raise awareness and highlight that diabetes and high blood pressure are key risk factors for kidney disease.
- To encourage systematic screening of all patients with diabetes and hypertension for kidney disease.
- To educate medical professionals about their key role in detecting and reducing the risk of kidney disease.
- To emphasise the important role of health authorities in controlling kidney disease.
- To encourage transplantation as the best option for kidney failure and organ donation as a life-saving initiative.
What’s happening in 2017?
The next World Kidney Day is being held on Thursday 9 March 2017. Every year, a particular health education theme is highlighted and the theme for 2017 is “Kidney Disease and Obesity; healthy lifestyle for healthy kidneys”.
Obesity increases the risk of developing diabetes and hypertension. In obese individuals, the kidneys have to work harder, filtering more blood to meet the demands of increased body weight, which can damage the kidneys and increase the risk of developing kidney disease.
World Kidney Day 2017 promotes education about the harmful consequences of obesity and advocate healthy lifestyle choices including healthy eating and exercise, and health policy measures that make preventive behaviours an affordable option.
How can you get involved?
There are plenty of ways to get involved in World Kidney Day in Australia. You can participate in a variety of activities and events both in your local community and online. Check the World Kidney Day website for details. Or you can organise your own event, such as:
- Public awareness activities. Hand out leaflets or distribute educational material at public events.
- Nationwide campaigns. These can include multi-activity public events aimed at attracting as many participants as possible.
- Public screenings. Contact doctors, nurses or health professionals who could present free screenings about kidney disease.
- Awareness walks. These are one of the most common and successful activities, where participants are asked to walk a certain number of kilometres to show their support.
- Educational activities. Organise school presentations. You could approach doctors, kidney patients or representatives of kidney organisations.
- Online campaigns. This can be as complex as creating web pages to promote kidney health, or as simple as featuring the World Kidney Day promotional materials on your Facebook page.