NCD Alliance / Still from Facing Forward video series

World Kidney Day 2023 – Preparing for the unexpected to support the most vulnerable

06th March 2023

Every year on the second Thursday of March, World Kidney Day (WKD) celebrate the importance of our kidney globally. As the 18th WKD approaches on 9 March, we invite everyone to mark WKD in their community and spread the WKD message.


Preparing for the unexpected

Non-communicable diseases (NCDs), including cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, cancer, hypertension, chronic lung diseases, and chronic kidney diseases (CKD), are known to be the leading causes of death and disabilities worldwide, significantly so in low- and middle-income countries.

Those affected by chronic kidney disease, of which represent more than 850 million people worldwide, are among those particularly affected by disastrous events, be they local or global when their ability to access proper diagnostic services, treatments and care is greatly hindered.

The WKD 2023 theme “Kidney Health for All: Preparing for the unexpected, supporting the vulnerable!” highlights this challenge. In recent years, the number of disastrous events has increased dramatically, as evidenced by the COVID-19 pandemic or the recent earthquake that impacted the Syrian-Turkish border region, resulting in the dramatic loss of thousands of people and leaving many thousands more without homes. These disasters have strained the patient community and health systems to provide appropriate access to care when health service capacity is limited due to higher priority treatments or services that are no longer accessible due to disrupted infrastructure access.

People with kidney disease are on the front lines when it comes to dealing with emergencies due to their need for complex and ongoing care. Some of their stories are spotlighted in the 2023 WKD blog series.

Supporting the vulnerable!

Putting NCDs on the global political agenda, with a focus on prevention and early detection, is imperative. On World Kidney Day, kidney organizations and the nephrology community are actively engaged in making the most of and advocating for:

  • Policymakers to adopt integrated health strategies that prioritize prevention, early detection, and management of NCDs, including kidney disease.
  • Health care services to provide equitable and proper access to care for chronic patients in times of emergency.
  • Governments to include emergency preparedness plans in the management and detection of NCDs and favor the prevention of these conditions.
  • Patients to plan for emergencies by preparing an emergency kit that includes food, water, medical supplies, and medical records.

To raise awareness about the impact of disastrous events on people living with kidney disease, WKD encourages people across the globe to conduct their own awareness raising activities either online or in-person. WKD recommends people to use social media to spread the word and mention #WorldKidneyDay or tag @worldkidneyday in their posts to follow the progress of the campaign and for us, to share their WKD content with a wider audience.

Reminding the world of the importance of our kidneys is the main objective of the campaign, WKD invites everyone to take part in the #ShowYourKidneys challenge and use our resources and materials, such as the social media toolkit, the activities guide and WKD 2023 visuals to help WKD advocates find inspiration for their awareness raising social media campaign or activity.

On 9 March, let’s celebrate together the importance of our kidneys and raise awareness about the impact of disastrous events on people living with kidney disease.

About the author:

Alice Poidevin is the World Kidney Day campaign manager at the International Society of Nephrology (ISN). The World Kidney Day campaign is a joint initiative of the International Society of Nephrology (ISN) and the International Federation of Kidney Foundations – World Kidney Alliance (IFKF-WKA) that aims at raising awareness of the importance of our kidneys.

WKD social media handles: Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube