The National Kidney Foundation of Illinois (NKFI) announced plans today to launch a bold education and awareness campaign to educate the public about the impact of kidney disease and to address the high rate of kidney disease especially in African American, Hispanic and Asian communities throughout Illinois. Beginning October 2021, NKFI will implement, Kidney Health For Life, a focused campaign to educate people of color on what kidney disease is and promote healthy kidney nutrition and lifestyle practices.
Kidney disease often has no symptoms in its early stages and can go undetected until advanced stages; that is why it is often referred to as a silent disease. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2019 kidney disease ranked as the eighth leading cause of death in Illinois. Any condition that causes reduced kidney function over a period of time is classified as chronic kidney disease and can lead to end stage kidney or renal disease. Stage five kidney failure requires dialysis or transplant for survival.
“The health data reflects the high prevalence of kidney disease in African American, Hispanic and Asian communities in proportion to their percentage of the population throughout the state of Illinois,” said Jacqueline Burges-Bishop, FACHE, National Kidney Foundation of Illinois’ Chief Executive Officer. “Through prevention, education and empowerment, we will build upon our work to change the trajectory of kidney disease across all of Illinois. Our goal in working toward health equity is to inspire these targeted communities to understand the seriousness of kidney disease and the need for medical screenings to help identify resources to address the social determinants of health and to offer culturally competent education that encourages communities to embrace new healthy choices for a longer and fuller lifespan.”
The NKFI’s Kidney Health For Life campaign will enhance its presence in African American, Hispanic, and Asian communities and carry its message to its target audience of adults ages 35 – 65 via community engagement, faith-based outreach, digital media, social media influencers and traditional media to get tested, schedule regular doctor visits and embrace healthy nutrition and lifestyle practices. One key component of the campaign is community health talks that will be held at places of worship and community events in key cities throughout Illinois. These health talks will begin in November and continue through early Fall 2022. Participants will get first-hand information from doctors and medical experts and when possible, experience delicious cooking demonstrations.
Through this campaign, NKFI will elevate its commitment to close the information gap on understanding this disease and its risks, serve as a relevant and accessible resource on what you need to know about kidney disease and start the conversation on kidney disease prevention and healthy lifestyle choices.