Celebrated every year on the second Thursday of March, World Kidney Day (WKD) is the global campaign that aims at increasing awareness of the importance of our kidneys to our health and of reducing the impact of kidney disease and its associated problems worldwide.


Why is World Kidney Day Important?

Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) is a non-communicable disease that affects 1 in 10 people worldwide. While severity can vary, CKD is incurable and causes the patient to need lifelong care.

As the incidence of kidney disease escalates, World Kidney Day plays a crucial role in educating the public, the medical community and governments and in encouraging prevention and early detection of kidney disease.


World Kidney Disease Organization’s Objectives

  • Raise awareness about our “amazing kidneys”.
  • Encourage screening of all patients with diabetes and hypertension for CKD.
  • Encourage preventive behaviours.
  • Educate all medical professionals about their key role in detecting and reducing the risk of CKD, particularly in high risk populations.
  • Stress the important role of local and national health authorities in controlling the CKD epidemic.

Encourage transplantation as a best-outcome option for kidney failure, and the act of organ donation as a life-saving initiative.


The Founders

World Kidney Day is a joint initiative of the International Society of Nephrology (ISN) and the International Federation of Kidney Foundations (IFKF).

ISN is a not-for-profit society dedicated to advancing the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of kidney diseases in the developing and developed world.

IFKF is a not-for-profit federation that advocates worldwide to improve the health, well-being and quality of life of individuals with kidney disease and promotes kidney disease research.



Kidney Health for Everyone Everywhere

850 MILLION PEOPLE WORLDWIDE are now estimated to have kidney diseases from various causes. CKD causes at least 2.4 million deaths per year and is now the 6th fastest growing cause of death. Acute kidney injury (AKI), an important driver of CKD, affects over 13 million people worldwide and 85% of these cases are found in low and middle-income countries. Around 1.7 million people are estimated to die annually because of AKI.

Despite the growing burden of kidney disease worldwide, kidney health disparity and inequity are still widespread. CKD and AKI often arise from the social conditions in which people are born, grow, live, work and age including poverty, gender discrimination, lack of education, occupational hazards and pollution among others.

Early diagnosis, prevention and delay of progression are sustainable options to reduce costs and consequences of kidney disease for individuals and countries. Yet, barriers to available, accessible, adequate and quality kidney care persist.

In 2019, in its 14th year of existence, World Kidney Day will be marked on March 14. The campaign sets out to raise awareness of the high and increasing burden of kidney disease worldwide and of the need for strategies for kidney disease prevention and management.



Key Messages

  • 850 million people suffer from kidney disease
  • Kidney disease is currently the 11th leading cause of global mortality
  • Between 2.3 -7.1 million premature deaths for lack of access to dialysis and transplantation
  • Kidney diseases often arise from the social conditions in which people are born, grow, live and work (e.g. poverty, gender discrimination, lack of education, occupational hazards and pollution among others)
  • In many countries, treatments for kidney disease are often inaccessible due to among others high out-of-pocket costs, lack of infrastructure and of specialized health care professionals
  • More than half of countries that have an overarching NCD strategy in place have no management guidelines or strategy for improving the care of people with CKD
  • Given the alarming increase of kidney disease globally, a drastic change and improvement in kidney disease prevention and treatment is needed. In turn, screening for high risk individuals and early diagnosis and treatment are cost effective to prevent or delay end-stage kidney diseases

World Kidney Day calls on everyone to advocate for concrete measures in every country to improve kidney care.

Organize a WKD event

Celebrate World Kidney Day by organizing an awareness event in your community: a walk, a bike ride, a run, a flash mob or a dance, a charity dinner or an educational class for pupils at your local school. Whatever you plan, you will help reach more people and make them aware of the importance of their kidneys. If you already know what you will do, please add your event online here: http:// www.worldkidneyday.org/2019-campaign/ worldwide-events/



Use WKD material

Visit www.worldkidneyday.org and download our resources for free. You can find the following material:

  • Campaign visual “Kidney Health for Everyone Everywhere”
  • Toolkits
  • World Kidney Day press release 


Spread the word

Follow World Kidney Day on:

World Kidney Day





Make Direct Contact

For more information, you should visit the World Kidney Day website to gain access to all related information and downloadable materials, or contact the WKD Campaign Manager, Anne Hradsky: anne@worldkidneyday.org.



Download the WKD Campaign Toolkit

World Kidney Disease Campaign Toolkit – 2019