Partnering for Pediatric Chronic Kidney Disease Awareness
Anna Tzinis is the Executive Director of the National Kidney Foundation, Serving Northern Ohio. Information on local events can be found at www.kidney.org/northernohio.
For World Kidney Day, the National Kidney Foundation is partnering with Akron Children’s Hospital for a first-ever Pediatric Chronic Kidney Disease Awareness event.
Titled “Little Heroes, Big Voices,” this event is aimed at bringing pediatric chronic kidney disease to the forefront of health care discussions. The National Center for Chronic Kidney Disease Prevention and Health Promotion reported that 30 million people are estimated to have chronic kidney disease, a substantial increase from recent years.
Likewise, the prevalence of chronic kidney disease within children is increasing. In the last two decades, the incidence of chronic kidney disease in children has steadily increased in all ethnic groups. Under-reporting due to lack of recognition may suggest an even higher prevalence.
Children with end-stage renal disease (ESRD) have an age-specific mortality rate of about 30 times greater than children without ESRD. Even worse, 96 percent of people with kidney damage or mildly reduced kidney function are not aware of having chronic kidney disease.
With so many Ohioans at-risk, the National Kidney Foundation and Akron Children’s Hospital felt that an awareness day was crucial to changing the statistics in Ohio.
Ohio legislators, business leaders, physicians, pediatric patients and their families will engage in a discussion about the importance of chronic kidney disease education, advocacy efforts and to become involved in the community awareness campaigns the National Kidney Foundation and Akron Children’s Hospital are working on.
“Children with chronic kidney disease and kidney failure face additional challenges which include low self-esteem, behavior and learning problems, and delayed language and motor skills development,” explains World Kidney Day Program Chair, Dr. Shefali Mahesh of Akron Children’s Hospital. “Our aim is to raise awareness about chronic kidney disease, focusing on modifiable measures and enabling these young children to lead a wholesome and productive life.”