Indigenous people have a higher risk of CKD and kidney failure compared to the non-Indigenous population. This may be due to increased rates of diabetes, particularly in children, which can lead to CKD in early adulthood. In addition, many Indigenous people live in rural communities where there is limited access to doctors and appropriate health care services. As a result, many community members have to leave behind their homes and families in order to receive treatment. Therefore it is very important to diagnose CKD early, or catch those individuals at the highest risk, so that early treatments can help prevent CKD or stop the progression to kidney failure.
Our team will conduct a screening initiative in Indigenous communities in five provinces across Canada. Using mobile lab equipment, screening teams will travel to communities and test for CKD and its risk factors, including diabetes and high blood pressure. This information will be used to determine an individual’s risk of CKD, and each person will receive a treatment plan that is tailored to their risk. This may include counseling, treatment recommendations, an appointment with a doctor, or direct referral to a kidney specialist. This study will help to provide evidence to help develop a permanent CKD surveillance system in all Indigenous communities across Canada. This will help to decrease the burden of CKD and kidney failure in these communities. With correct treatment and continued follow-up, the number of Indigenous people with CKD will decline and fewer patients will progress to kidney failure requiring dialysis.