850 million people are affected by chronic kidney disease (CKD), with over 2 million people worldwide receiving dialysis or living with a kidney transplant.
However, the mostly silent nature of kidney disease leads to the complexity of trying to understand what cannot be usually seen or felt and, therefore, not knowing when to take action. Knowing when to act will improve through patient health literacy. This can only occur if healthcare providers communicate and educate effectively in a co-designed partnership with those with kidney disease, rather than viewing health literacy as a patient deficit.
On 10 March 2022, World Kidney Day, the call to action is “Kidney Health for All – Bridge the knowledge gap to better kidney care.” This call to action is for people to be aware of the disease and to seek out actively what kidney health measures, including health literacy, they can personally take.
Agnes Fogo, President of the International Society of Nephrology (ISN) and Siu-Fai Lui, President of the International Federation of Kidney Foundations – World Kidney Alliance (IFKF-WKA), both lead the World Kidney Day (WKD) campaign. They affirm that for World Kidney Day 2022, kidney organizations must prioritize shifting the narrative from a misplaced emphasis on patient-deficit health literacy narrative, to that of also being the responsibility of clinicians, healthcare providers, related healthcare organizations, and health policymakers.
Kidney healthcare providers and other health care personnel can play a central role in providing information and education that is both accessible and easy to understand for people with varying levels of health literacy. Social media has the potential to provide an increasingly effective channel of communication for spreading health information and connecting networks. One of the ways the public can take part in World Kidney Day is by showing support on social media using the hashtag #worldkidneyday.