HRH Prince Daniel's opening speech at the European Renal Association's congress

Stockholmsmässan, Älvsjö

(The spoken version shall take precedence)

Ladies and gentlemen,

It is a great honour for me to welcome you to Sweden, to Stockholm, and to the 61st ERA Congress.

From the early days of dialysis to the groundbreaking innovations in transplantation, you have continuously pushed the boundaries of what is possible.

However, as we celebrate your achievements, we must also recognise the ongoing challenges we face. The prevalence of chronic kidney disease (CKD) continues to rise globally, affecting millions of people and adding to the enormous burden on healthcare systems.

In developing countries, the situation is particularly critical, with many patients lacking access to life-saving treatments. This inequity underscores the urgent need for continued efforts in research, education, and policy advocacy.

The theme of this year's congress, "Innovate, Collaborate, Transform", reflects a collective mission to not only advance scientific knowledge, but also to implement practical solutions that improve patient outcomes.

Over the next few days, we will hear from leading experts who will share the latest research findings, clinical practices, and technological innovations.

A key focus area this year is the role of personalised medicine in kidney care. By tailoring treatments to the individual needs of patients, we can increase the efficacy and reduce side effects, ultimately leading to better outcomes.

This approach, combined with progress in AI and data analytics, holds the promise of revolutionising how we diagnose, treat, and manage kidney diseases.

We must also address the environmental factors impacting kidney health.

Climate change, pollution, and water scarcity are emerging as significant contributors to the global burden of kidney disease. And of course, a healthy lifestyle is crucial!

Ladies and gentlemen,

This year marks 60 years since the first kidney transplantation took place in Sweden, at a hospital called Serafimerlasarettet here in Stockholm. The surgery was performed by Professor Curt Franksson, who grew up in a small municipality two hours north of Stockholm, Ockelbo.

And so did I, but 50 years later.

Our shared history, Professor Franksson’s and mine, does not end there.

Forty-five years after Franksson's first transplantation at Serafimerlasarettet, I found myself at the same hospital, on dialysis, waiting for a kidney transplant.

Today, 15 years later, I am standing here, healthy, and happy with my father's kidney.

The gratitude I feel towards those of you who dedicate your lives to improving opportunities for us patients is indescribable.

Thank you.