New Delhi, Mar 14 : At least 2.4 million people die every year due to Chronic kidney diseases (CKD), World Health Organisation reported, calling for universal health coverage (UHC) for prevention and early treatment for the world's sixth fastest growing cause of death.
As many as 850 million people worldwide are now estimated to have kidney diseases from various causes, WHO said.
The WHO report came as the world celebrated World Kidney Day on Thursday. The theme for this year is "Kidney Health for Everyone, Everywhere." Kidney diseases are majorly caused by uncontrolled diabetes and blood pressure. For prevention, one must adopt a healthy lifestyle (access to clean water, exercise, healthy diet, tobacco and alcohol control and maintain ideal body weight).
It can be delayed or kept under control by making screening for kidney diseases a primary healthcare intervention including access to identification tools (e.g. urine and blood tests), screening of high risk individuals and early diagnosis and treatment is cost effective to prevent or delay end-stage kidney diseases.
Acute kidney injury (AKI), an important driver of Chronic Kidney Disease, affects over 13 million people worldwide and 85 per cent of these cases are found in low and middle-income countries (LMICs). Around 1.7 people are estimated to die annually because of AKI.
CKD and AKI often arise from the social conditions in which people are born, grow, live, work and age including poverty, gender discrimination, lack of education, occupational hazards and pollution among others.
Moreover, CKD and AKI are important contributors to increased morbidity and mortality from other diseases and risk factors including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, hypertension, obesity, as well as infections such as HIV, malaria, tuberculosis and hepatitis.
Transplantation is considered the most cost-effective treatment of CKD. However, it has high set up costs with regards to infrastructure and requires highly specialised teams, availability of organ donors and cannot be done without dialysis backup. Physical and legal infrastructure requirements and cultural bias against organ donation often present barriers in many countries, making dialysis the default option.
Though national policies and strategies for non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in general are present in many countries, specific policies directed toward screening, prevention and treatment of kidney diseases are often lacking, WHO said.
The ultimate goal of a UHC policy is to promote population health by ensuring universal, sustainable and equitable access to essential healthcare of high quality, protecting people from health impoverishment and improving equity in health across socioeconomic groups.