Tuesday, 20 March 2012 15:03

ISN leaders and councillors show their support for World Kidney Day 2012

WKD2012adISN joined this year's World Kidney Day celebrations on March 8, 2012. A joint initiative between ISN and the International Federation of Kidney Foundations, World Kidney Day raises awareness about the importance of kidneys to our overall health and reducing the frequency and impact of kidney disease and its associated health problems. The 2012 campaign focused on the positive outcome of kidney transplantation and the life-saving aspect of organ donation.

In the run up to the big day, ISN leaders and councillors were out and about supporting this cause as much as they could. ISN President John Feehally, was in Jordan talking about transplantation at the Jordan Society of Nephrology's annual congress (see ISN blog). Giuseppe Remuzzi, ISN's President Elect wrote an editorial on World Kidney Day published in OK Salute, a supplement in Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera. ISN Secretary General Adeera Levin was in Boston, Massachusetts meeting with students and researchers, discussing her own research and giving a lecture on the global burden chronic kidney disease (CKD).

She says that "this activity was created by Tufts Medical Center specifically to celebrate WKD for the general medical group at the institution. In keeping with ISN key activities of education, research and outreach, I described opportunities for ongoing research in CKD to improve patient outcomes as well as the issues facing developing countries with respect to CKD." In British Columbia, the BC Renal Agency and its network developed a Kidney Smart campaign and all kidney programs in the province planned activities with BC Transplant groups, to celebrate the themes of kidney disease and transplantation.

But, what about ISN councillors? They also played an important role in raising awareness on a regional level. Find out in further details how they got involved on a local level.

Susan Quaggin, ISN Councillor in Canada, was in Durham, North Carolina speaking to students, scientists and clinicians about the complications of diabetic nephropathy and the development of new agents to slow down the progression of this renal disease.  Back in her own laboratory in Toronto, her students and post-doctoral fellows hosted an institution-wide "Kidney Drop-In" to promote knowledge, interest and collaborations in kidney research. "On the eve of World Kidney Day, I spoke about the burden of kidney disease and the tremendous hope research can bring to community members," she adds.

Down Under, Peter Kerr, ISN councillor from Australia held a media event giving journalists the chance to tour the renal facilities at Monash University hospital in Melbourne. He says that for a country like Australia, increasing the transplant message is most important and there is a special focus on improving awareness of organ donation.

In Sri Lanka, Rezvi Sheriff, took part in celebrations at the Western Infirmary, Colombo. Birds were released into the sky to mark  freedom from kidney disease. A report on the Asian Forum CKD Initiative was published on March 8, 2012 and free kidney screenings were also available to visitors.

Sanjay Agarwal from the All India Institute of Medical Science celebrated World Kidney Day on March 10, 2012 with faculty from the Division of Nephrology, Department of Pediatric and Nephrology. "Patients on dialysis received counseling for renal transplants. They were also given dietary and other treatment advice," he explained. On an educational level, the Delhi Nephrology Society organized a public function where senior faculty talked about various aspects of CKD including prevention, medical treatment and the option of renal replacement therapy. Agarwal explained that 25,000 flyers were distributed to the local community, kidney health screenings were carried out and a kidney care camp was organized to screen some 250 people.

Chih-Wei Yang, ISN councillor in Taiwan, was at Chang Gung Memorial Hospital. The clinic takes a multidisciplinary approach to treating CKD, particularly focusing on patients with diabetes. In the afternoon, he took part in a celebration service for organ donors and recipients. In China, Zhi-Hong Liu, ISN councillor and President of the Chinese Society of Nephrology, celebrated WKD with the Chinese Society of Transplantation and the Red Cross Society of China. She participated in a press conference in Nanjing to raise awareness about kidney disease and transplantation. A public health announcement was broadcast on national television about the lack of donor organs and the use of deceased donor organs.

On the first anniversary of the disaster that struck Japan in March 2011, Toshio Miyata was involved in preparing the memorial service Sendai. "Through this disaster, the medical community learned about the necessary dialysis support networks and patients transportation systems needed during such as disaster," he explained.

According to Somchai Eiam-Ong, World Kidney Day is one of the most important activities of the Nephrology Society of Thailand. Thanks to television, radio and film personalities as well as popular testimonials they continue to plan many activities throughout the year. In Vietnam, Tran Xuan Truong took part in a meeting on transplantation and transplant recipients. Gathering some 200 specialist doctors from South Vietnam, it was a valuable meeting for him and his colleagues.

Across Europe, Francesco Locatelli spoke at the Senate in Rome, Italy, generating strong media presence across the country. Kai-Uwe Eckardt helped organize a press conference in Germany. A patient who received a combined kidney and pancreas transplant two years ago told his story to the press. Dick de Zeeuw helped prepare an FDA meeting on "what are the best hard endpoints in renal intervention trials?". In addition, he worked on writing a summary of two international albuminuria conferences that were held over the last two years. Jorge B Cannata-Andia, ISN councillor from Spain, spent World Kidney Day in Kiev, Ukraine giving lectures on "Age, bones and CKD" and "Vitamin D metabolism in CKD".

Laszlo Rosivall, President of the Hungarian Nephrological Society, helped organize roadshows and screenings to explain the importance of kidney donation. He also organized the 19th Budapest Nephrology School and 13th IFKF Annual Meeting in Budapest. On March 8 and 9, 2012, Irma Tchokhonelidze explained that several screenings were carried out at the High Technology Medical Center University Clinic in Georgia, where the largest department of nephrology is established. "More than 1000 people with diabetes and hypertension underwent the screening," she adds. Outreach activities also took place in Armenia, Russia and Azerbaijan.

Further south, Martha Franco was in Mexico City for a meeting supported by several medical and philanthropic institutions supporting programs to help patients with renal disease. "Several nephrologists talked about renal disease in children, chronic renal disease in adults, peritoneal and hemodialysis, renal transplants in Mexico and nutrition for patients with renal disease," she adds. Ana Cusumano, ISN councillor from Argentina translated the 2012 WKD Editorial into Spanish and sent the article for publication in Nefrología Diálisis y Transplante and Nefrología Argentina.

In Chile, Sergio Mezzano gave a lecture in Valdivia, during an event dedicated to CKD. This activity devoted to organ donation and transplantation was supported by the Ministry of Health, political representatives and the Red Cross. Free screening of glucose, creatinine, urine and blood pressure was available as well as educational activities for the general public.

Mona Nasir Alrukhaimi, Co-chair of the ISN GO Middle East Committee spoke at the Jordan Society of Nephrology. "Various activities took place in the United Arab Emirates in hospitals, malls and in public parks including free screenings.The KDIGO guidelines for care of transplant patients were printed in a booklet format and distributed to all renal physicians for easy access during their daily practice. Also the DICC brochure to educate patients against buying a kidney was printed in Arabic and English version and distributed to the public."

ISN would like to thank the leaders and councillors for their enthusiasm and dedication to this important event on the nephrology calendar. We look forward to many more successful World Kidney Day campaigns, raising global awareness about kidney health and issues surrounding kidney disease.

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