The company has partnered with the World Kidney Day (WKD) organisers to amplify the conversation around kidney health and reduce the impact of such disease worldwide.

WKD is a yearly joint initiative of the International Society of Nephrology (ISN) and the International Federation of Kidney Foundations (IFKF) aimed at raising awareness of the importance of kidneys to our overall health.

Under this year’s WKD theme – ‘Living Well With Kidney Disease’ – Diaverum is starting today a series of health literacy webinars open to renal patients, their families and communities. As vaccines are key to ending the pandemic and renal patients are at greater risk of becoming seriously unwell from COVID-19, the first webinar the company is holding focuses on kidney disease and the COVID-19 vaccine, it took place on 11 March 2021, at 17:00 CET.

 

Upcoming webinars are scheduled for May, September and November 2021.

Kirsty Bashforth, Diaverum Chief People and Communications Officer, said: “We are strong believers of this year’s theme of ‘Living Well With Kidney Disease’. At Diaverum, we are no strangers to this ambition. Our purpose as an organisation is to enhance the lives of renal patients, helping them live fulfilling lives. So it is beyond renal care, it is about empowering patients to live well with their condition – to achieve that, we need to come together as an industry and tackle health literacy around the world.”

Kidneys are among the most important organs in the human body and chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a global and escalating challenge today affecting about 10% of the world’s adult population. It is estimated that 90% of people suffering from CKD is not aware of their condition, which is primarily caused by lifestyle diseases such as diabetes. Its prevalence is increasing particularly in developing countries.

Dr Fernando Macário, Diaverum’s Chief Medical Officer, said: “Physicians and nurses can help patients as long as they seek our help. If people don’t know what CKD is, how it develops and how to make the right lifestyle choices to keep their kidneys healthy, the focus shifts from prevention to medical intervention. It is important to emphasise that prevention is always the best course of action, so investing in health literacy across society is part of the solution. It keeps people healthy while driving costs down to national health services and the patients themselves.”

A study published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research shows that when patients have information about their condition and communicate effectively with their doctors, they are 32% less likely to be hospitalised and 14% less likely to visit the emergency room.1

Filipe Almeida, Diaverum’s patient since 2017, said: “I was diagnosed when I was only 12 years old. As the disease was of a immunological aetiology and had a genetic origin, it was expected to progress into adulthood. Few years ago my kidney disease reached stage 5 - a stage when haemodialysis, or another replacement treatment (such as peritoneal dialysis or renal transplant) becomes necessary to replace renal function and stay alive. Accepting this new condition was not easy for me, but I simply refused give up on my life plans. I think the awareness of what are the do’s and don’t’s and education is the key. I took my COVID-19 vaccine as soon as it was possible for me in Portugal and I would encourage anyone who is still hesitant to do the same.”

[1]Greene JC, et al. (2019). Reduced hospitalizations, emergency room visits, and costs associated with a web-based health literacy, aligned-incentive intervention: Mixed methods study. Journal of Medical Internet Research, 21(10): e14772.

 

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