World Kidney Day
World Kidney Day is observed annually on the second Thursday in March. Actually, this day is not so much a holiday as it is a global health awareness campaign—a campaign that focuses its efforts on the importance of kidneys and the impact that kidney diseases have had on the health of people around the world.
Since the main job of the human kidney is to clean the blood of toxins and transform the waste into urine, it is extremely important for a person to keep their kidneys as healthy as possible for as long as possible.
The History of World Kidney Day
This day was first created in 2006 with the cooperation of 66 different countries. Over the next year, the number of countries increased, as it did again in 2008 when almost 90 different countries decided to observe this day.
World Kidney Day was founded by a joint initiative of the International Society of Nephrology (ISN) and the International Federation of Kidney Foundations (IFKF). It has been observed all around the world since its creation, and an increasing number of countries are now observing it.
Some Important Facts About Kidneys
You didn’t think that we would discuss World Kidney Day without taking a few moments to talk about kidneys, did you? We knew when we first started work on this day that at some point we would have to list all of the facts that we know about kidneys, as well as look up the facts that we didn’t know.
Below you’ll find the fruits of our labors, and a list that has some of the most exciting and relevant kidney information that you’re ever going to see.
- Kidneys are about the size of a clenched fist and are shaped like a bean.
- When a person’s kidneys fail, excess wastes build up in the body.
- Kidney disease may lead to a rise in blood pressure, ankle swelling, and shortness of breath.
- Kidney failure is fatal without a transplant or dialysis.
- Approximately 37 million people in the U.S. have kidney disease.
- About 3.5 million people in the U.K. have chronic kidney disease.
- The biggest causes of chronic kidney disease are uncontrolled diabetes and high blood pressure.
- Due to chronic kidney disease, there are about 45,000 premature deaths in the United Kingdom every year.
- Asian, Black, and minority ethnic communities are 500% more likely to develop chronic kidney disease than other groups.
- In 1954, the first successful human kidney transplant was performed.
- Approximately 80% of people on the human organ transplant list are waiting for kidneys.
- Only about 1 out of 5 people with kidney failure will be able to get a transplant.
Observing World Kidney Day
The whole purpose of this day is to educate the public on the importance of their kidneys and the measures they can take to lower their risk of kidney diseases.
To that effect, events are held all across the country that emphasize these points. People can also take the time to spread the word about this day using the hashtag #WorldKidneyDay on social media.