New campaign raises awareness of killer kidney disease

Dialysis patient Pam Nye.  Photo Louise Adams ENGSUS00120121203121735
Dialysis patient Pam Nye. Photo Louise Adams ENGSUS00120121203121735

Kidney Research UK has launched a regional fundraising campaign called ‘Missing Million’ to raise awareness of one the UK’s least-known life-threatening diseases, and vital funds for research into this ‘silent killer’.

The lives of more than three million people in the UK are at risk of chronic kidney disease (CKD), which can progress to be a serious condition for which there is no cure. But there are only two million patients registered with their GP as having CKD, which means there are a ‘missing million’ of undiagnosed patients.

The signs are often difficult to spot which is why the disease is often referred to as the ‘silent killer’. But people most likely to be at risk are those who suffer from diabetes, high blood pressure or heart disease.

The campaign will aim to drive the public to request an information pack or take a ‘kidney health check’ online in order to help identify the ‘Missing Million’ undiagnosed patients.

The campaign tells the story of Dusty the binman - one of the missing million people in Britain showing the early signs of kidney disease. As a character, Dusty provides a simple analogy for what the kidneys do and enables viewers to connect with his story through his own experiences and the observations of his wife and work colleagues.

The number of patients presenting with kidney failure in the UK is rising by 4 per cent every year.

There are 612 people in Cambridgeshire either on dialysis or receiving follow on care after a kidney transplant.

The number of people being treated for kidney failure in the UK has risen every year since 2006, with more than 55,000 patients now undergoing dialysis or receiving follow-on care for a transplant.

Money raised through Kidney Research UK’s campaign will fund vital research into kidney disease; it will help in the search for better treatments, making transplanted kidneys work better and last longer and ultimately lead to cures for kidney diseases.

Sandra Currie, chief executive at Kidney Research UK, said: “It is estimated that a ‘missing million’ people have not yet been identified with CKD and we want to ensure that we boost the number of people being detected early for kidney disease.

“If caught early enough, the damage done by some forms of kidney disease can be slowed, stopped or even reversed. We need to attract more support to fund further research if we are going to beat this disease.”

Activity will initially be tested in Anglia throughout April with a fully integrated campaign running across TV, online display, social media and outdoor.

For more information about the ‘Missing Million’ campaign, please visit: visit where you can also take a free online kidney health check, or you can request an information pack by calling 0800 9120011 or text 70755.

Text KIDNEY to 70007 to give £3.