Publication: National health policies and strategies for addressing chronic kidney disease: Data from the International Society of Nephrology Global Kidney Health Atlas.
National strategies for addressing chronic kidney disease (CKD) are crucial to improving kidney health. We sought to describe country-level variations in non-communicable disease (NCD) strategies and CKD-specific policies across different regions and income levels worldwide. The International Society of Nephrology Global Kidney Health Atlas (GKHA) was a multinational cross-sectional survey conducted between July and October 2018. Responses from key opinion leaders in each country regarding national NCD strategies, the presence and scope of CKD-specific policies, and government recognition of CKD as a health priority were described overall and according to region and income level. 160 countries participated in the GKHA survey, comprising 97.8% of the world's population. Seventy-four (47%) countries had an established national NCD strategy, and 53 (34%) countries reported the existence of CKD-specific policies, with substantial variation across regions and income levels. Where CKD-specific policies existed, non-dialysis CKD care was variably addressed. 79 (51%) countries identified government recognition of CKD as a health priority. Low- and low-middle income countries were less likely to have strategies and policies for addressing CKD and have governments which recognise it as a health priority. The existence of CKD-specific policies, and a national NCD strategy more broadly, varied substantially across different regions around the world but was overall suboptimal, with major discrepancies between the burden of CKD in many countries and governmental recognition of CKD as a health priority. Greater recognition of CKD within national health policy is critical to improving kidney healthcare globally.