Focus Areas

The ISN is committed to developing and consolidating programs, focuses, and strategic alliances to help further deliver on reducing the incidence and impact of kidney disease worldwide, and to maintain the ISN as the leading international organization for all issues related to kidney care.

Key focus areas:


The ISN promotes integrated prevention and disease management programs at national levels, which are essential to improving the early detection, treatment, and tracking of kidney disease and other non-communicable diseases (NCDs).

For example, the integration of CKD screening and management strategies into national NCD programs has reduced the burden and cost of CKD care, especially in emerging countries.

Screening for CKD in people with diabetes has reduced the cumulative incidence of kidney failure, decreased expenditure, and improved overall life expectancy.

Furthermore, integrated prevention strategies such as blood pressure and glycemic control in high-risk patients can slow the progression of CKD and reduce the risk of cardiovascular mortality.

Prioritizing prevention ensures a favorable return on investment. A study* focusing on India projected a 15% return on investment from programs highlighting the prevention of the onset of kidney failure via early screening and controlling blood pressure in diabetes patients.

Conversely, if efforts are not increased, NCDs and mental health conditions could cost the world an estimated US $47 trillion in lost economic output by 2030.

The ISN thus advocates for:

  • Improved focus on early intervention: Promote treatment as early as possible across the entire spectrum of care.
  • Population-based approaches to manage key known risks for kidney disease, such as blood pressure control and effective management of obesity and diabetes.
  • Implementation of the World Health Organization (WHO) ‘Best Buys’, including screening at-risk populations, universal access to essential diagnostics, increased use of generic medications, availability of affordable basic technologies and essential medicines, and task shifting from doctors to front line healthcare workers.


Most people with kidney disease suffer from co-morbidities including both non-communicable and communicable diseases, which lead to cumulative incidences of disease progression and reduced life expectancy as well as the increased cost of isolated health care interventions.

Co-morbidities create significant challenges for patients to access care within health systems still configured to treat individual diseases. The WHO Independent High-Level Commission on NCDs stated, “There are many other conditions of public health importance that are closely associated with the major NCDs. They include other NCDs, such as renal, endocrine, neurological, haematological, gastroenterological, hepatic, musculoskeletal, skin and oral diseases and genetic disorders.”

Recognizing the significance of co-morbidities, the ISN strives to promote:

  • Health systems that deliver people-centered, integrated, multisectoral, and comprehensive services aimed at prevention, early detection, and treatment of all NCDs and their risk factors, leaving no disease behind.
  • Secure sustained human and financial resources to ensure the development of health systems equipped to deliver a comprehensive NCD response to multi-morbidities
  • Recognition of the importance of all NCDs.

To discover more on the ISN’s work advocating key focus areas, explore our advocacy section, or contact us at

*Bloom, D.E., et al. (2014). Economics of Non-Communicable Diseases in India: The Costs and Returns on Investment of Interventions to Promote Healthy Living and Prevent, Treat, and Manage NCDs. World Economic Forum, Harvard School of Public Health, 2014.