World Kidney Day 2016

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On March 10, the UMCs of Amsterdam, Groningen, Utrecht and Nijmegen in cooperation with  the Dutch Kidney Patient Organization (NVN) and the Dutch Kidney Foundation organized the World Kidney Day  to raise awareness for kidney diseases.

We like salty foods and basically everything else that is bad for us. Of course, children know that some foods are healthy and some are unhealthy, but do they realise why it is bad for them and that the kidney is severely affected by excessive salt intake? The impact of having a kidney disease is often underestimated by the general population. People believe that suffering from a kidney disease is not life threatening and it can be easily treated with dialysis.

At the Radboudumc, researchers and clinicians from different departments along the renal theme joined forces and contributed to an informative day to raise awareness for kidney diseases.

During the morning program, patients got the opportunity to visit the laboratory and attend several demonstrations to get insight in the kidney related research that is being conducted at the Radboudumc. The patients participated in interactive demonstrations of research techniques and ask all their questions to kidney researchers and clinicians.

After a morning full of interaction, the researchers went on to visit two primary schools in Lent to teach children about the kidney by means of small experiments, organized by Jitske Jansen, Anique ter Braake and Joost Hoenderop. The children, aged 10-12, tasted various salt solutions to get an idea about the amount in salt in their favourite foods, identify the difference between a healthy kidney and a diseased kidney from urine samples and build their own kidney from items such as a funnel, a sieve and a hose. In a playful way, the children learned the importance of our kidneys and what happens in kidney disease.

Taken together, it was a day during which researchers and clinicians from several departments got to meet and work together in spreading their enthusiasm and raise awareness for kidney disease.  Raising more awareness for kidney disease emphasizes the importance of taking care of your kidneys, but it also could contribute to stimulate research to develop innovative therapeutic platforms to treat kidney diseases.


Researchers and children doing experiments at Het Talent in Lent (Foto: Marja Poldermans Fotografie).

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