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Europe called on to reduce the growing burden of CKD

MEP healthAs part of this year’s World Kidney Day celebrations, the ISN took part in a seminar on March 5, 2013 at the European Parliament in Brussels,  organized by the European Kidney Health Alliance of which ISN is a member, and hosted by MEP Zofija Mazej Kukovic, new Chair of the MEP Group for Kidney Health. Opening the discussion, she highlighted the importance of screening, prevention and the role politicians and scientists play in helping people make healthy lifestyle changes.

Affecting 8 to 10% of Europeans, Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) is on the rise in pace with Europe’s aging population. There is an urgent need for improved public awareness, prevention strategies, early detection, education and subsequent management of CKD in clinical practice to deal with this growing and costly problem. The European Kidney Health Alliance and the MEP Group for Kidney Health are calling

Kidney patient parliamentfor a fundamental shift in policy and for much greater attention to primary and secondary CKD prevention. They are also calling for a European-wide effort to promote organ donation and transplantation programs as a more cost-effective and sustainable solution with better outcomes than dialysis.Ron Gansevoort from the University Medical Center Groningen, The Netherlands questioned whether dialysis can be prevented. He spoke about halting the progression of CKD in patients by sharing more information about eating the right foods and limiting salt intake, insisting on the importance of patient and doctor collaboration when managing treatment. Swedish Kidney transplant patient and Per Ake Zillen shared his testimony insisting he now lives a normal life as a transplant recipient thanks to this treatment but also through effective self care. “It is key that professional care and self care work together. Information is the answer to all health issues. We need to change the way we communicate and educate the public,” he said.

World Kidney Day is a unique opportunity to raise awareness at public and political level to prioritize CKD in public health, for the benefit of the growing number of people suffering from the disease but also for our health systems and society in general. Join the campaign on March 14, 2013 and head to the World Kidney Day website HERE.

You can see more photos from ISN’s days at the European Parliament on the ISN Facebook page.

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