The Global Kidney Health Atlas: Burden and Opportunities to Improve Kidney Health Worldwide

Ann Nutr Metab. 2020;76 Suppl 1:25-30. doi: 10.1159/000515329. Epub 2021 Mar 26.


CKD is a growing public health problem. The Global Kidney Health Atlas (GKHA) is an important initiative of the International Society of Nephrology. The GKHA aims to improve the understanding of inter- and intranational variability across the globe, focusing on capacity for kidney care delivery. The GKHA survey was launched in 2017 and then again in 2019, using the same core data, supplemented by information about dialysis access and conservative care. Based on a WHO framework of the 6 building blocks essential for health care, the GKHA assesses capacity in 6 domains: information systems, services delivery, workforce, financing, access to essential medicines, and leadership/governance. In addition, the GKHA assesses the capacity for research in all regions of the world, across all domains (basic, translational, clinical, and health system research). The results of the GKHA have informed policy and been used to enhance advocacy strategies in different regions. In addition, through documentation of the disparities within and between countries and regions, initiatives have been launched to foster change. Since the first survey, there has been an increase in the number of countries which have registries to document the burden of CKD or dialysis. For many, information about the burden of disease is the first step toward addressing care delivery issues, including prevention, delay of progression, and access to services. Worldwide collaboration in the documentation of kidney health and disease is an important step toward the goal of ensuring equitable access to kidney health worldwide.

Keywords: Advocacy; Atlas; Burden of illness; Care; Chronic kidney disease; Clinical trials; Collaboration; Global health.