EKPF meets with European Commission to discuss kidney disease and war in Ukraine

The EKPF, EKHA and ERA have met with the DG HEalth & Food Safety Units to discuss challenges and potential solutions regarding the war in Ukraine and kidney disease.

The European Kidney Health Alliance is a coalition of patient organisations and medical societies and its mission is to advocate for increased awareness of the burden of kidney disease in EU policies. The European Renal Association is an organisation of physicians and scientists working on kidney disease and its mission is to reduce the burden of the disease through medical education and basic and clinical research.

During the meeting, the special vulnerability of kidney patients during wars was discussed. If patients stay, they may not have access to their treatment; but if they leave, they may not get to their dialysis centre or treatment in time. What the EKPF, EKHA and ERA have done during this war was also discussed. Our main role has been to advocate for the needs of renal patients, to catalyse communication between requests, suppliers and purchasers, and to track what has been delivered. We have joined forces to pass on information and connect with EU refugee centres.

We suggested the EU work with the Renal Disaster Relief Task Force to help deliver essential drugs and dialysis supplies and create links between the Renal Disaster Relief Task Force and the EU Health Security Committee.

In terms of long-term suggestions, the need to raise awareness of kidney disease in EU initiatives, to include nephrology care in times of crisis in future EU preparedness plans and to support ground-breaking innovation to make kidney disease treatments less complex was discussed.