Kidney disease is a non-communicable disease (NCD) and currently affects around 850 million people worldwide. One in ten adults has chronic kidney disease (CKD). The global burden of CKD is increasing, and is projected to become the 5th most common cause of years of life lost globally by 2040. CKD is a major cause of catastrophic health expenditure. The costs of dialysis and transplantation consume 2–3% of the annual healthcare budget in high-income countries. Crucially, kidney disease can be prevented and progression to end-stage kidney disease can be delayed with appropriate access to basic diagnostics and early treatment. This year World Kidney Day continues to raise awareness of the increasing burden of kidney diseases worldwide and to strive for kidney health for everyone, everywhere. Specifically, the 2020 campaign highlights the importance of preventive interventions to avert the onset and progression of kidney disease.