Kidney Wales Foundation today announced a £100,000 research fund for kidney research and will be seeking bids from across the research community to fight kidney disease in 2010. It has been decided that this would be an annual comitment subject to fundraising.

Announcing the Kidney Wales Research Fund today at the KW Office Raj Aggarwal OBE Chair of Trustees said “Awareness of Kidney Diseases is low with many people totally underestimating the vital role our kidneys play. In fact kidney damage and disease causes serious morbidity for hundreds of thousands of people, and in some cases leads to death.”

He added “These facts speak for themselves. Chronic Kidney Diseases (CKD) contribute towards morbidity from Cardiovascular Disease (CVD), we need further research on this and regenerative research.”

“Right now, the lives of three hundred thousand people in Wales are threatened by chronic kidney disease. The costs of kidney failure (end-stage renal disease) and people are currently kept alive through either haemo or peritoneal dialysis or transplantation. This number is forecasted to double within the next 10 years.”

Bids to the Fund are being sought from researchers across Wales and interest has been shown from overseas and particularly the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine Winston-Salem in the United States.

The bids will be peer reviewed by experts in renal medicine and organised by Kidney Wales.

To further mark World Kidney Day, Kidney Wales is presenting new media screens to Kidney Patients in Cadiff who need multi media screens while on dialysis.

Mel Wager of Kidney Wales a kidney patient from St Athan waiting for a transplant said “I approached Kidney Wales for new media screens for the Dialysis Ward in the Heath, where dialysing can be an isolating experience. The charity responded positively and the new digital screens are being unvieled to mark World Kidney Day.”

Roy J Thomas Executive Chairman of Kidney Wales said “Our supporters and fundraisers across Wales are to be congratulated for raising funds for research and patient care. We cannot thank them enough for making this possible. Deaths claimed by infectious diseases will decline by 3% over the next decade. In marked contrast, deaths as a result of chronic diseases will increase by 17%.”

To promote awareness and raise funds Kidney Wales is organising the Walk for Life on Sunday 28th of March with over 60 walks and communities across Wales supporting kidney patients. Details of walks across Wales and how to organise one in your own community can be found at www.kidneywales.com

Notes to Editors

World Kidney began in 2006 and has grown evere since. Kidney Wales has supported it since it’s incpetion.

The mission of World Kidney Day is to raise awareness of the importance of our kidneys to our overall health and to reduce the frequency and impact of kidney disease and its associated health problems worldwide.

If detected early, Chronic Kidney Diseases can be treated–thereby reducing other complications and dramatically reduce the growing burden of deaths and disability from chronic renal and cardiovascular disease worldwide

World Kidney day is an initiative of the International Federation of Kidney Foundations (IFKF). Kidney Wales Foundation is a member of the the IFKF.

Background Briefing

Kidney Diseases, Silent Killers

More than 500 million people worldwide approximately one in ten adults have some form of kidney damage.

Chronic Kidney Diseases (CKD) contributes towards morbidity from Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) in over 12 million individuals worldwide each year.

Chronic diseases that already account for 72% of the total global burden of disease in people over 30 will increase by 17% over the next decade; much of this in developing countries. In marked contrast, deaths claimed by infectious diseases will decline by 3% in the same period.

Many ignore the function of their kidneys, while they are at the heart of our body health. The main job of our kidneys is to remove toxins and excess water from our blood. Kidneys also help to control our blood pressure, to produce red blood cells and hormones, and to keep our bones healthy.

Too many people ignore the close inter-relationship between kidney diseases and diabetes or hypertension. Worldwide, 246 million people suffer from diabetes and the figure is expected to reach 380 million by 2025. Diabetic nephropathy affects a third of people suffering from diabetes. Sadly, less than half of those people diagnosed with diabetes undergo a simple screening test for kidney disease.

Kidney diseases are often detected too late, when the patient is already in end-stage renal failure and will need either dialysis or transplantation. Worldwide, over 1.5 million people are currently kept alive through dialysis or transplantation and this number is forecasted to double within the next 10 years. This phenomenon results in the steep increase of organ trade and transplant tourism, two largely publicised issues.

It is less known, however, that a simple way to prevent these issues is to tackle the problem at the source, and ensure early diagnosis of kidney damage by systematically screening people diagnosed with diabetes or hypertension. This can be done with simple and inexpensive urine tests. If detected early, damages can be treated with effective therapies. If diagnosed too late, kidney diseases lead to kidney failure, which entails dialysis and transplantation. Kidney Wales Foundation today announced a