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Multinational Inventory on Chronic Kidney Disease is released

In most countries, Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) is not a healthcare priority even though it is seen as a silent killer. A multinational inventory summarizing CKD burden and current practices across 17 European countries, Israel and Canada has just been released.

Under the umbrella of the International Society of Nephrology (ISN), The Alberta Kidney Disease Network (AKDN) developed the systematic international inventory under the Kidney Health for Life Initiative (KH4L), with support from an unrestricted grant from AbbVie. The first author of the report is Canadian nephrologist Dr. Aminu Bello.

Marcello Tonelli, Chair of the ISN Research and Prevention Committee, representing AKDN: “We set out to understand the structure, organization and delivery of CKD care across countries by identifying key elements of each health system. We especially looked for opportunities to share best practices between countries to optimize the care of kidney patients.”

According to the findings, lack of government commitment, limited funding with competing priorities, lack of structures and poor coordination as well as low awareness about CKD are currently the key obstacles to effective care.

Ireland, Norway and the United Kingdom are the only countries of the 19 surveyed that have a national service framework for CKD; 11 out of the 19 have CKD care guidelines available, with a variable degree of implementation. None of the countries with guidelines have established schemes to monitor adherence – except the UK Quality Outcomes Framework, which rewards performance for achieving certain thresholds in quality of care.

Italy has the highest number of nephrologists with 94 per 1,000 early stage renal disease (ESRD) patients. Turkey has the lowest with 7 per 1,000 ESRD patients. All countries except Portugal, Canada, UK, Turkey and Ireland have at least one nephrologist per 50 ESRD patients.

Groups of healthcare professionals representing the different disciplines needed for comprehensive CKD care were lacking as only eight countries had organized multidisciplinary teams.

In its advocacy role, ISN aims to address these findings with major stakeholders including Health Ministries, the World Health Organization, the United Nations, the European Union, and the World Bank and to increase the profile of CKD as a major public health issue among non-communicable diseases. The CKD inventory now serves as a benchmark for assessing the quality of CKD care and will be used as a prototype for future ISN work worldwide.

For more information and to download the Multinational Inventory on Chronic Kidney Disease, visit:

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