NKDEP & The American Diabetes Association Announce Kidney Sundays

An illustration of two kidneys(BlackDoctor.org) — The National Kidney Disease Education Program (NKDEP), the American Diabetes Association, National Coalition of Pastors’ Spouses (NCPS) and Chi Eta Phi nursing sorority are partnering to kick off the first-ever nationwide Kidney Sundays event in March 2012 in recognition of National Kidney Month.

The collaboration will involve more than 50 African-American faith organizations around the country observing Kidney Sundays on the fourth Sunday, March 25.

“As African Americans, we make up about 13 percent of the population, but when it comes to kidney failure, we account for 28 percent of new cases.  This statistic is a concern,” said Griffin P. Rodgers, M.D., M.A.C.P., director, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. “We can work together to lower the rate of kidney disease. Since many of us turn to places of worship to discuss health issues, I challenge every African-American faith organization to talk about kidney health this month.”

Recognizing National Kidney Month, the faith leaders have agreed to talk on March 25 with their congregations about the connection between diabetes, high blood pressure, and kidney disease and the importance of testing.  The faith organizations will hold Kidney Sundays information sessions, distribute materials, and conduct blood pressure screenings.

“We still have lots of work ahead of us in terms of educating people on the serious effects of diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, and eating habits, and how each relates to kidney health,” said NCPS President Vivian Berryhill, of New Philadelphia Baptist Church in Memphis, Tenn.  “Efforts such as Kidney Sundays are a great start to help pastors’ spouses get the conversations started.  This faith-focused kidney awareness campaign gives churches an opportunity to post on church bulletin boards, to disseminate via church bulletins, and to preach from the pulpit about information in a forum where we know people trust us and will pay attention.”

Cities and metropolitan areas participating in the national Kidney Sundays effort are Baltimore, Charlotte, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Dallas, Florence (SC), Hampton Roads (VA), Houston, Indianapolis, Memphis, Philadelphia, Raleigh/Durham, St. Louis, Los Angeles, and the Washington, DC metro area.

NKDEP, a program of the National Institutes of Health, works to reduce the burden of chronic kidney disease (CKD), especially among communities most impacted by the disease, including African Americans.  To learn more about Kidney Sundays and order free materials to help make the connection between diabetes and kidney disease, visit http://nkdep.nih.gov/kidneysundays/index.htm. For more information about diabetes and obesity, visit http://niddk.nih.gov.