A new interactive pop-up experience was unveiled to Leicester shoppers as part of a new campaign to spread awareness of kidney disease. The two-day immersive event took place at Leicester’s Highcross Centre on Saturday March 4 and Sunday March 5, offering visitors the chance to understand the daily challenges of living with kidney disease.

The immersive event used UV technology to give visitors an insight into what living with kidney disease is like. Based inside an everyday kitchen, guests were able to interact with ultraviolet LED technology to uncover aspects of life with kidney disease that are typically hidden. Highlighting the relentlessness of frequent dialysis sessions, some of the most common symptoms as well as real patient stories, the charities used the immersive experience to generate greater awareness of the condition.

Every day, 20 people are diagnosed with kidney failure and five people die every week waiting for a kidney transplant. However, awareness of kidney health is low, in a recent survey1 60% of those at risk of kidney disease didn’t think they were. Kidney disease is the 10th most common cause of death worldwide. These are statistics the charities insist should be a wake-up call.

Without a cure, patients whose kidneys have failed will often have to rely on gruelling treatments like dialysis or a kidney transplant that has a limited life-span. Like dialysis, a kidney transplant is a treatment and not a cure for kidney disease.

The charities, National Kidney Federation, Kidney Care UK, PKD Charity, Kidney Research UK, Kidney Wales and UK Kidney Association chose to hold the event in Leicester as the city has the highest proportion of adults from Black, Asian and other ethnic minority backgrounds outside of London. People from these communities are three to five times2 more likely to need dialysis than people from Caucasian backgrounds. They also have a higher risk of developing chronic kidney disease due to diabetes and high blood pressure. The organisations believe that with greater awareness, more people can be diagnosed earlier, preventing patients from developing kidney failure.

For more information about World Kidney Day in the UK and downloadable resources please visit: www.worldkidneyday.co.uk

1) Knowledge of risk factors statistic is sourced by Kidney Research UK’s general awareness survey conducted in February 2022. The study which was commissioned by the charity surveyed 2,000 members of the general public via an online questionnaire and was conducted by SAPIO Research

2) Statistics taken from the UK Renal Registry 24th Annual Report and the NHS Blood and Transplant kidney report 2022.