What We Advocate

The ISN advocates for the following policies:

One of the primary aims of ISN’s advocacy strategy is to integrate kidney diseases into the ongoing global debate and drive toward Universal Health Coverage (UHC).

In this context, the ISN seeks to propose the advancement of kidney disease care as a model for monitoring progress, achieving UHC, and improving global health.

ISN is actively engaged in the current World Health Organization (WHO) and United Nations (UN) discussions around UHC and in global efforts to meet the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

In December 2015, ISN signed up to the Global Coalition for Universal Health Coverage. The coalition includes the WHO, the World Bank Group, the Rockefeller Foundation, and hundreds of leading non-governmental organizations (NGOs), healthcare organizations, and academic institutions.

In December 2015, ISN responded to a UN consultation on the tracer indicators used to track UHC, one of the key health-related targets of the SDGs.

ISN outlined several key positions:

  • ISN supports the use of tracer indicators as an appropriate and effective way of monitoring progress toward the UHC target.
  • To provide a reliable indication of the state of the healthcare system, tracking should cover the full spectrum of health services available to the population, including those targeting disease prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation.
  • Kidney disease, a noncommunicable disease (NCD) with a growing global burden, especially in low and middle-income countries (LMICs), is a good example of how such a framework of interventions might develop. While the most significant impact is made by carrying out all baseline techniques, limited resources may require prioritization of interventions and a phased approach to implementation.

The ISN continues to actively demonstrate the impact and relevance of kidney disease in achieving UHC.

The ISN actively welcomes the inclusion of NCDs in the UN Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development as well as its 17 SDGs. Nevertheless, the ISN continues to call for increased awareness of the often underestimated clinical, economic, and social burden of kidney diseases.

The ISN recognizes that structural factors, including poverty, education, nutrition, gender inequality, substance abuse, lack of access to primary care, and overall health  directly increase the risk of kidney disease. The ISN therefore commends the holistic approach of the Agenda 2030 and SDGs, which provide strategies to positively impact kidney disease globally.

Read the ISN’s statement at the 66th Session of the WHO Regional Committee for Europe in September 2016.

Read Dr. Valerie Luyckx’s article, “The Sustainable Development Goals: hope for kidney disease” in The Lancet Kidney Campaign.

The ISN anticipates that the international community and member states will successfully implement the UN Agenda 2030 framework to inspire other regions of the world.

A systematic analysis of global mortality for the Global Burden of Disease study shows that deaths from kidney diseases are increasing globally. Kidney disease is not, however, among the four major NCDs targeted explicitly by the WHO.

The ISN recognizes the challenge of this status and focuses efforts on building a stronger profile and understanding of kidney diseases, identifying opportunities where the ISN can make a relevant and valuable contribution to international organizations such as the WHO and the UN.

The ISN seeks to highlight the need to address kidney disease as both a leading NCD and as an amplifier of other NCDs such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease (CVD).

The ISN joined the World Heart Federation and other leading health organizations in signing the Mexico Declaration on Circulatory Health for All People, which calls on international organizations and national governments to ensure better prevention, diagnosis, and management of circulatory and other NCDs, including kidney disease.

In 2017, the ISN joined the Global Coalition for Circulatory Health, which brings together international, regional, and national stakeholders in circulatory health to drive the urgent action needed to combat heart disease and strokes.

In 2016, the ISN was invited to a WHO stakeholder consultation on the revision of Appendix 3 of the WHO Global NCD Action Plan 2013-2020. The ISN’s response highlighted kidney disease’s status as a “neglected” disease as well as the need to raise its profile as a worldwide public health concern.

The ISN emphasizes the underestimated link between diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and kidney diseases to the international healthcare community and recommends early detection of kidney diseases in diabetes and CVD patients to improve outcomes.

Read the ISN’s response to the WHO Appendix 3 consultation here.

Concerned by the ongoing issue of international organ trafficking and the global shortage of organs for transplantation, the ISN and The Transplantation Society (TTS) embarked in a two-year process of debate and strategic discussions which culminated in the release of the Declaration of Istanbul on Organ Trafficking and Transplant Tourism in 2008. The Declaration serves to establish unity and momentum to prevent unethical practices in organ transplantation worldwide.

The ISN continues to raise awareness on the challenges and international discrepancies in accessing suitable and equitable kidney replacement therapy, including transplantation, and on the level of safety, quality, and efficacy of donation and transplantation of human cells, tissues, and organs.