The world's disease profile is changing, and chronic diseases now account for the majority of global morbidity and mortality, rather than infectious diseases. The causes of chronic kidney diseases reflect this change and diabetes, together with hypertension, is now the major cause of end-stage renal failure worldwide, not only within the developed world, but also increasingly within the emerging world. Diabetes is of epidemic proportions, and its prevalence will double in the next 25 years, particularly in the developing countries. This will place an enormous financial burden on countries, including the cost of the management of end-stage renal failure. Thus, it is medically and economically imperative for awareness, detection, and prevention programs to be introduced across the world, particularly in the developing countries. This will require concerted action from global institutions, governments, health service providers, and medical practitioners.