United States Ambassador Convenes Forum on Enhancing Kidney Health in the Pacific

Suva, August 26, 2020

Today, the U.S. Ambassador Joseph Cella hosted Pacific health officials and clinicians for a dialogue on the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of kidney disease.  The conversation generated ideas and inspiration for new ways that the United States, Fiji, and other Pacific island countries can work together to overcome health challenges.

Ambassador Cella said, “Kidney disease not only threatens lives, but also imposes a public health and financial burden.  That’s why prevention, screening, and early intervention is so important.  Finding the best solutions requires creativity, innovation, and collaboration.  If we bring everyone to the table – we can find better ways to prevent, diagnose, and treat kidney disease.”

Following opening remarks by Ambassador Cella, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Deputy Secretary Eric Hargan highlighted the dedication of the U.S. Government in advancing kidney health and described the recent efforts to improve awareness, diagnosis, and treatment of kidney disease in the United States.  Two examples are the Kidney Innovation Accelerator (KidneyX) and the Kidney Health Initiative, public-private partnerships that focus on innovation and collaboration to advance kidney health.  HHS Executive Director of Data Operations Dr. Kristen Honey and American Society of Nephrology (founding co-chair of the Kidney Health Initiative) Dr. Prabir Roy-Chaudhury shared more information about these partnerships and learned from Fijian doctors and nurses about the challenges and opportunities for improving kidney health in the Pacific.

Studies show higher rates of kidney disease among Pacific islanders than other groups and that Pacific islanders start dialysis at a younger age.  While dialysis treatments are available in major population centers, but these can be far away and expensive to reach for many Pacific islanders.  However, chronic kidney disease is largely preventable and treatable.

For More Information on U.S. Resources on Kidney Health:

2019 United States’ Executive Order on Advancing American Kidney Health:  https://www.whitehouse.gov/presidential-actions/executive-order-advancing-american-kidney-health/

KidneyX:  https://www.kidneyx.org/

The Kidney Innovation Accelerator (KidneyX) is a public-private partnership between the US Department of Health and Human Services and the American Society of Nephrology to accelerate innovation in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of kidney diseases. KidneyX seeks to improve the lives of the 850 million people worldwide currently affected by kidney diseases by accelerating the development of drugs, devices, biologics, and other therapies across the spectrum of kidney care including prevention, diagnostics, and treatment.

The Kidney Health Initiative:  https://khi.asn-online.org/

The Kidney Health Initiative’s (KHI) mission is to catalyze innovation and the development of safe and effective patient-centered therapies for people living with kidney diseases.  KHI’s collaborative projects seek input from and bring together members across all areas of the kidney community.  KHI has also published many different articles in several of the major, peer-reviewed nephrology journals.