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NGOs urge WHO to include kidney disease in priority list

Washington, Apr 3 (Prensa Latina) Professional institutions working on kidney health urged the World Health Organization (WHO) to include this disease in the priority non-communicable diseases (NCDs) list, according to an article published in Nature Reviews Nephrology.

Kidney disease, a condition that damages kidneys and prevents them from filtering blood, is currently the third fastest growing cause of death worldwide, and is being expected to become the fifth leading cause of years of life lost by 2040.

There are already 850 million people affected, and treating them is draining the coffers, yet in discussions of global public health priorities, the words “kidney disease” do not always figure, as they are not on the WHO’s list of priority NCDs that cause premature deaths.

Hence, three largest professional organizations working in kidney health (the International Society of Nephrology, the American Society of Nephrology and the European Renal Association) are urging WHO to include kidney disease in the list.

According to authors, this will draw attention to growing threat, which is particularly serious for people in low- and lower-middle-income countries, who already bear two-thirds of global burden of kidney disease.

Plus, lowering the number of deaths from kidney disease could become priority for the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of reducing premature deaths from NCDs by one-third by 2030.

It could also attract funding for treatments, research and disease registries.

NCDs are responsible for 74% of deaths worldwide, but the largest global health donors currently devote less than 2% of their budgets to international healthcare for the prevention and control of NCDs, not including kidney diseases.