Building a Better Health Service

Your Health

Kidney Disease Awareness encouraged

Kidney Disease Awareness encouraged

Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) affects 1 in 10 people. Often described as ‘a silent illness hiding in plain sight’, it usually develops slowly over time and can progress to total kidney failure. It is estimated that CKD will become the fifth leading cause of death globally by 2040. Over 500 new patients in Ireland develop kidney failure every year.

The Irish Kidney Association (IKA), in association with the HSE’s National Renal Office (NRO), are running an awareness campaign to highlight the importance of early screening for Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD). Diabetes Ireland is supporting the campaign. 

Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) significantly increases the risk of negative outcomes in people living with diabetes, cardiovascular disease and high blood pressure amongst other health conditions.  The IKA’s campaign aims to highlight that it is possible to prevent or slow down the progression of kidney disease through lifestyle changes and medication and that it all starts with simple blood and urine tests done through your GP to measure and monitor your kidney health.

'We're Counting on You'

The tagline message for the Irish Kidney Association’s campaign is ‘We’re Counting on You’. This represents the importance for the public to be proactive in managing their kidney health and that they are being ‘counted on’ to get a simple blood test and urine test which will reveal their kidney function ‘numbers’. These ‘numbers’ will represent how well the kidneys are functioning in filtering blood and removing waste from the body. If Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) is detected early enough, its progression, through the five stages of CKD, can be slowed down supporting better patient outcomes.

In backing the Irish Kidney Association’s campaign for kidney health screening Prof. George Mellotte, National Clinical Lead for Renal Services, HSE National Renal Office (NRO) stated, “People with Chronic Kidney Disease are medically vulnerable to the effects of high blood pressure, diabetes and cardiovascular disease. It is important that people with Chronic Kidney Disease are identified so that they can seek the appropriate treatment in a timely manner".

Ms. Carol Moore, Chief Executive, Irish Kidney Association added “as there is no public health screening programme for kidney disease in Ireland, we hope that the ‘Counting On You’ awareness campaign to mark World Kidney Day will encourage the public to take action to look after their kidney health. We are pleased that the National Renal Office is endorsing the campaign and are delighted to be working closely with Diabetes Ireland to highlight the importance of kidney health screening as diabetes is one of the main risk factors for chronic kidney disease”.  

In explaining why Diabetes Ireland is supporting the Irish Kidney Association in its campaign, Clair Naughton, Diabetes Nurse and Regional Development Officer with Diabetes Ireland said:

“Diabetes Ireland welcomes the opportunity to highlight the importance of screening for Chronic Kidney Disease, a condition that can go undetected in the early stages as it doesn’t cause symptoms. Diabetes, which affects in excess of 250,000 people in Ireland is one of the leading causes of Chronic Kidney Disease. Diabetes check-ups should include the routine monitoring of kidney function so that changes can be picked up early. It is easily done with routine kidney blood and urine tests. Diabetes Ireland is urging all people with diabetes to attend for their routine diabetes checkups with their GP or diabetes team, to ask for a kidney function test, and ensure that a discussion of kidney health becomes an integral part of check-ups. Find out the results of the test and regularly discuss their kidney health with their doctors: i.e.  Check, Know, Discuss”. 

Early diagnosis of Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) through screening is key to better health outcomes while easing the burden on our health service.