What African Americans Need to Know
In recognition of National Kidney Month in March, the National Kidney Disease Education Program (NKDEP) is again partnering with the American Diabetes Association's (ADA) Project POWER to educate African Americans about how diabetes may lead to kidney disease and the importance of getting tested.
Project POWER is a faith-based program that provides congregations with information to help improve the health of members with diabetes and their families. Earnestine Walker, Director of African American Initiatives, is leading ADA's partnership with NKDEP to help faith communities make the kidney connection.
African Americans are nearly four times more likely than Caucasians to develop kidney failure, which requires dialysis or a kidney transplant to live healthier longer.
"Since African Americans with type 2 diabetes are also at high risk for kidney failure... it's important for people to be aware and know the signs and symptoms of kidney disease," said Walker.
Project POWER's outreach programs help raise awareness about the link between diabetes and kidney disease, which ranks low on national survey's of African Americans health concerns. "It is extremely helpful for us to work with the National Kidney Disease Education Program in March, in conjunction with Diabetes Alert Day, to educate our faith communities about the importance of getting checked," said Walker.
To help NKDEP execute the National Kidney Sundays event, Project POWER and health screening partner, Chi Eta Phi Sorority, Inc., will lead kidney and diabetes health sessions in participating congregations
"Working with Chi Eta Phi Sorority, Inc. brings value because they provide high blood pressure screenings; this helps to make the program real for many of our faith communities," said Walker. "When they hear the message and get screened, they begin to fully understand their potential risk. "For many, this may be their first time learning about their risk for kidney disease."
This year, the National Kidney Sundays event will take place on March 3, 2013 in more than ten cities across the country, including:
If you'd like to learn more about the Kidney Sundays program and want to get your faith community involved, visit http://nkdep.nih.gov/get-involved/kidney-connection/kidney-sundays.shtml to download the Kidney Sundays Toolkit and email firstname.lastname@example.org.
To learn more about Project POWER you can visit http://www.diabetes.org/in-my-community/awareness-programs/african-american-programs/project-power.html or call 1-800-Diabetes.
For additional information on diabetes, please visit http://www.ndep.nih.gov/.
Page last updated: February 6, 2013