Development of strategies for the early detection and prevention of non-communicable diseases, including kidney disease, is the only realistic strategy to avert an imminent global health and economic crisis and enhance equity in health care worldwide. In this article, we briefly examine the burden of non-communicable diseases, including diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular disease and how chronic kidney disease (CKD) represents a key integrated element in the setting, even in developing countries. A possible explanation of the increasing number of people who have or are at risk to develop CKD in poor countries is also given. A survey of major screening and intervention programmes performed or ongoing globally is then presented, highlighting differences and hurdles of projects planned in developed or developing nations as well as in unprivileged communities in developed countries. Finally, some recommendations on future steps to implement prevention programmes in emerging worlds are provided.