In celebration of World Kidney Day (WKD) the Health Services Authority (HSA) will be holding free screenings for blood pressure, glucose and cholesterol on 9 March from 7:30am – 12:00pm in the George Town Hospital’s Atrium. All members of the public are invited.Celebrated every year on the second Thursday of March, WKD is a global campaign that aims to increase awareness of the importance of our kidneys to our health, and reduce the impact of kidney disease and its associated problems worldwide.Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) is a non-communicable disease that affects one in 10 people worldwide. While severity can vary, CKD is incurable and patients with the illness will need lifelong care. As the incidence of kidney disease escalates, WKD plays a crucial role in educating the public, the medical community, governments and encouraging prevention and early detection of kidney disease.WKD seeks to raise awareness about how the kidneys work; encourage screening of all patients with diabetes and hypertension for CKD; encourage preventive behaviours; educate all medical professionals about the key role they play in detecting and reducing the risk of CKD, particularly in high risk population; and stress the important role of local and national health authorities in controlling the CKD epidemic.In 2017 WKD will focus on “Kidney Disease and Obesity: Healthy Lifestyle for Healthy Kidneys” by promoting education about the harmful consequences of obesity and its association with kidney disease, advocating healthy lifestyle and health policy measures that make preventive behaviours an affordable option.“I encourage everybody not only to lead a healthy lifestyle and to reduce the risk of developing kidney disease, but also to take advantage of free screenings to help identify problems at an early stage,” said Premier Hon Alden McLaughlin.Obesity is defined as abnormal or excessive fat accumulation that may impair health. It is a potent risk factor for the development of kidney disease. It increases the chance of developing major risk factors of CKD, like diabetes hypertension and kidney stones. In 2014, over 600 million adults were obese worldwide. Individuals affected by obesity have an 83% increased risk of CKD, compared to individuals with a healthy weight. It also has a direct impact on the development of end stage renal disease (ESRD). Globally, 2.6 million patients with ESRD received dialysis in 2010. This number is projected to almost double to 5.4 million by 2030.However, obesity, as well as CKD, is largely preventable. Strategies to reduce excess weight and prevent the development of diabetes mellitus, hypertension and cardiovascular disease may reduce the risk of kidney disease.“As a patient who has kidney disease, the reliance on dialysis has drastically changed my life,” shared Shelley Myles-Guardado. “I am unable to work, have difficulty travelling and have had to sacrifice time with family and friends. I would encourage every individual who has not had this disease to take preventative measures, because this is the reality of being a dialysis patient,” she added.The purpose of the screening being offered to the community by HSA is to help persons to identify if they are at risk of kidney disease and to give them the opportunity to adopt preventive behaviours to reduce this risk, as necessary. Attendees will be able to speak to a variety of clinicians at the screening, including nurses, a physician and a representative of the Dietary Services.