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Statement of Concern – Political Declaration, United Nations High-Level Meeting on Universal Health Coverage

The International Society of Nephrology is very concerned about the current state of negotiations on the Political Declaration for the first United Nations High-Level Meeting on Universal Health Coverage (UN HLM on UHC).

Kidney disease, which affects over 850.000 million people worldwide, is the 11th leading cause of death globally and is projected to become the 5th most common cause of years of life lost globally, by 2040. Kidney disease is a rapidly growing health burden and poses a significant health care challenge for governments, particularly in low and middle income countries. Kidney disease is a cause and a consequence of other major NCDs, including heart disease and diabetes, and yet it has been neglected in global UHC discussions to date.

The international community cannot afford to miss yet another opportunity to take targeted action on kidney disease as an integral part of the global NCD policy response.

We therefore urge Member States to amend the current text of the Political Declaration and agree, by consensus, a strong document that acknowledges the global burden from kidney disease: with over 850.000 million people world-wide affected, renal diseases are a rapidly growing health burden which cannot be left behind by member states in the development and implementation of national health strategies.

We thus urge Member States to amend point 34 of the current draft as follows:

‘Also strengthen efforts to address kidney diseases, eye health conditions and oral health, as well as rare diseases and neglected tropical diseases, as part of universal health coverage’


This is in line with the 2011 Political Declaration on the Prevention and Control of Non communicable diseases and 2018 WHO Independent High-Level Commission on NCDs report which mention renal disease as a key disease to be addressed.

Who are we?

The International Society of Nephrology (ISN) is an organization dedicated to advancing worldwide kidney health. We bridge the gaps of available care through advocacy and collaborations with our global partners. We build capacity with healthcare professionals via granting programs, education and research. By connecting communities, we develop a stronger understanding of how to manage kidney diseases and engage in a collaborative effort to improve prevention, diagnosis and treatment.

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