Global access of patients with kidney disease to health technologies and medications: findings from the Global Kidney Health Atlas project

      Access to essential medications and health products is critical to effective management of kidney disease. Using data from the ISN Global Kidney Health Atlas multinational cross-sectional survey, global access of patients with kidney disease to essential medications and health products was examined. Overall, 125 countries participated, with 118 countries, composing 91.5% of the world’s population, providing data on this domain. Most countries were unable to access eGFR and albuminuria in their primary care settings. Only one-third of low-income countries (LICs) were able to measure serum creatinine and none were able to access eGFR or quantify proteinuria. The ability to monitor diabetes mellitus through serum glucose and glycated hemoglobin measurements was suboptimal. Pathology services were rarely available in tertiary care in LICs (12%) and lower middle-income countries (45%). While acute and chronic hemodialysis services were available in almost all countries, acute and chronic peritoneal dialysis services were rarely available in LICs (18% and 29%, respectively). Kidney transplantation was available in 79% of countries overall and in 12% of LICs. While over one-half of all countries publicly funded RRT and kidney medications with or without copayment, this was less common in LICs and lower middle-income countries. In conclusion, this study demonstrated significant gaps in services for kidney care and funding that were most apparent in LICs and lower middle-income countries.

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