World Health Organisation (WHO)

World Health Organisation (WHO)

The ISN is a non-state actor (NSA) in official relations with the World Health Organization (WHO): this means that the ISN has a Collaboration Plan – running from 2021-2023 -with the WHO and will cooperate with it to deliver six research and advocacy-related projects to address the global burden of kidney diseases within the context of global, regional, and national noncommunicable disease (NCD) strategies.

As part of the previous Collaboration Plan 2018-2020, the ISN developed, alongside the WHO, The ISN Framework for Developing Dialysis Programs in Low-resource Settings which outlines the requirements and operational considerations for setting up or expanding dialysis programs in resource-constrained settings and is intended as a guide to support WHO member states in developing sustainable strategies for the treatment of patients with kidney failure.

As an NSA, the ISN can attend the WHO’s World Health Assemblies and the Executive Board meetings.

Read more about ISN’s advocacy activities at the WHO here, and find a comprehensive list of all ISN’s statements here.

Wednesday, May 29, 2024 from 9-10 am CET, at the margins of the World Health Assembly, in-person at the Intercontinental Hotel, Geneva and with live streaming.

Advancing kidney care for all: Expanding access to lifesaving therapies” ​

Main focus:

  • prevention/early detection of kidney disease, emphasizing the critical role of access to therapies and diagnosis​

Valerie Luyckx (ISN), Daniel Gallego (Kidney Patients Federation), Bianca Hemmingsen (WHO), Alison Cox (NCD Alliance), and Anna Stavdal (World Organization of Family Doctors).

Brussels, June 6, 2024
The International Society of Nephrology (ISN) is pleased to share outcomes from the side event, “Advancing Kidney Care for All: Expanding Access to Lifesaving Therapies,” hosted at the World Health Assembly 77 on May 29 in Geneva. As a non-state actor in relations with the World Health Organization (WHO), the ISN organized this event to emphasize the need to raise kidney disease on the global health agenda.
This impactful meeting brought together a diverse group of experts – WHO representatives, policymakers, and people living with kidney diseases – to address the critical issue of global disparities in kidney care.
Kidney disease continues to affect approximately 850 million people worldwide(i), often with devastating consequences. It is expected to become the 5th leading cause of death globally by 2040(ii). The expert panel, featuring Dr. Valerie Luyckx (ISN), Daniel Gallego (Kidney Patients Federation), Dr. Bianca Hemmingsen (WHO), Alison Cox (NCD Alliance), and Dr. Anna Stavdal (World Organization of Family Doctors), discussed solutions and strategies to ensure that lifesaving therapies are accessible to all, regardless of geographical or socio-economic barriers.
Panelists agreed that early detection and prevention of kidney diseases are the most effective ways to save lives. Achieving this requires ongoing awareness campaigns, the prioritization of kidney disease as a health priority by decision-makers, and the need to include civil society members and individuals with lived experience in the decision-making process. This involvement is vital for ensuring equitable access to lifesaving strategies.
During the event, Guatemala’s Health Minister, Mr. Oscar Cordón Cruz, emphasized that kidney health is a critical public health issue in his country, highlighting the significant impact of kidney diseases on the population. Recognizing the urgent need for improved kidney care, he committed to explore, along with the Central America Council of Health Ministers, the possibility of introducing a resolution on kidney diseases to the WHO, recognizing it as a priority non-communicable disease (NCD). “We need to address the medical and legal aspects of kidney transplants. This approach is crucial for effective kidney care, ensuring we create strong policies that enhance access and outcomes for all patients in our region.”
The Guatemalan Minister’s commitment to this initiative signals a promising step toward international collaboration. It emphasizes the importance of engaging with the WHO to fulfill the ISN mission to “Advance kidney health globally. Together.”
The meeting was organized in collaboration with Devex, with support from AstraZeneca, Boehringer Ingelheim & Lilly, and Novartis.


(i) Francis, A., Harhay, M.N., Ong, A.C.M. et al. Chronic kidney disease and the global public health agenda: an international consensus. Nat Rev Nephrol (2024).
(ii) EKHA, Kidney Manifesto 2024,

This event is supported by AstraZeneca, Boehringer Ingelheim & Lilly, and Novartis