The special edition on “Global Health Policy and Kidney Disease” is an initiative by the Nephrology – Open Journal to highlight the present and future challenges in kidney diseases faced by the global health community.
As the world’s population ages and rates of diabetes and obesity rise even in developing countries, the prevalence of chronic kidney disease markers has risen to 10-13% of the adult population, and kidney disease was the 13th leading cause of death in 2013. Kidney diseases contribute to the morbidity of other chronic diseases like diabetes and cardiovascular disease, and to the morbidity of infectious diseases like sepsis and influenza, further heightening the need for a more concerted worldwide effort to spread awareness and prevention. Unchecked, kidney disease often progresses to end-stage renal disease, which necessitates high-cost dialysis or transplant procedures, or death, and CKD remains one of the few growing causes of mortality, despite the development of effective clinical practice guidelines.
To tackle these problems, many research and resource gaps must be addressed. We need to be able to detect kidney disease earlier, and these tests need to be made accessible in resource-poor countries. More kidney specialists need to be trained, and general practitioners need to be made more aware of the ways in which they can help their patients manage their kidney disease. Dialysis and transplantation need to be distributed more equitably throughout the world.
New treatments that can better slow or stop the progression of the disease need to be developed. And, surveillance of kidney disease around the world needs to improve, so we can monitor the progress we make as we continue to fight the growing burden of this disease. This special edition invites manuscripts from all disciplines that will contribute to our ability to address any of these needs.