The chronic kidney disease which initially emerged in Anuradhapura district in the North Central province about ten years back, is now surfacing in other parts of the country as well, affecting people of all ages irrespective of gender.
According to World Health Organization (WHO) assisted research findings, there were some 400,000 kidney patients in the North Central and Uva Provinces about a couple of years back.
Recently, it was revealed by the Ministry of Health it has now spread to other parts of the country not sparing even Hambantota the fast urbanising seat of rule.
The WHO assisted researchers claim confirming that approximately 21.5% of the Sri Lankan population are suffering from kidney disease in some form or another. Most alarming situation is as medical authorities have warned prevalence of end stage renal failure is reaching epidemic level.
Only process of sustaining life when at the end stage popularly known as fifth stage CRF - Chronic renal failure is routine dialysis or kidney transplant. Tragedy is that in this disease, the affected person does not know the problem until it reaches the fifth or the end stage.
"The WHO assisted researchers claim confirming that approximately 21.5% of the Sri Lankan population are suffering from kidney disease in some form or another. Most alarming situation is as medical authorities have warned prevalence of end stage renal failure is reaching epidemic level"
How many people can afford to undergo dialysis or kidney transplant in this country, where the doctors have turned out to be beastly blood suckers, with slightest or no care at all to humanity and human values; where the government health services have been crippled in order to pave way for private hospitals?
It’s only a couple of days back the Island newspaper of 22nd instant reported that seven dialysis machines idling for six months in Padaviya district hospital. Padaviya is an area where there could be more than one kidney patient in each family.
The government’s demonstrated apathy toward this human disaster is certainly motivated by enormous gains of different kinds to almost each and everybody in the agro chemical and drug trade.
It is no secret that authorities pretend not to know that the exact cause of CKD, when the farmers themselves as well as concerned authoritative researchers unambiguously and unequivocally stated that by and large all agro chemicals used in farming with regular cultivation over a period of 30 years have contributed with time accumulation of large quantities of polluted residues that eventually settle in reservoirs as well as in the environment could be the major cause of the present increased CKD in the country.
Unlike a few years back, now the end stage CKD is appearing among younger age groups as well. The reason for this as explained by the concerned authorities is due to wider and intensive contamination existed through extensive pollution of the whole agricultural region and the general environment by the agro chemicals. Another study carried out by a few concerned agricultural and environmental scientists has alarmingly revealed that CKD or CRF is now shifting down to younger age groups of 15 and 10. Alarmingly it was found during a clinic conducted in a remote village in Galgamuwa where two kids of five and seven years respectively are affected and need to be urgently attended.
" the government should urgently resort to take some sensible action to control the agro chemical caused chronic kidney disease which is now ruining the country as a terrible epidemic"
Apparently, the situation is highly gloomy, and stated as in 2007 by eminent professor Dr. Sarath Bandara of the Department of Agriculture Biology, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Peradeniya “If CD Cadmium pollution continues to increase so will human dietary CD exposure and renal tubular dysfunction is likely to become more prevalent in human population in next 10 – 20 years”
Today, six years after this warning it has been revealed by a joint study conducted by University of Ruhuna and Aberdeen University, Scotland, that rice, the staple food in Sri Lanka obtained from several parts of the country has turned toxic containing and high levels of Cadmium. This is a serious situation and an eye opener not only for politicians and bureaucrats but for concerned citizens as well.
At it has been increasingly and widely accepted all over the world that agro chemicals are ruinous to the environment as well as to life. It is biologically disastrous too.
It was introduced to agriculture not only in Sri Lanka but also to other countries by the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) as business agent of huge private companies producing agro chemicals. Because it was a fantastic money earning, huge profit making business. The utter inhuman characteristic of this business is that it is manufactured and sold with prior knowledge of its harms to life. In Sri Lanka, it is sold for the same sole purpose of earning money, and not for increase yields and assisting farmers. It is well known fact that Agro Chemical business entails corruption from the top to the bottom in the chain, and is an openly carried racket. In this background no politicians, the policy makers could afford to lose the opportunity and lose the benefits.
Accordingly, they come out with utterly childish excuses, like their sincere role in public service to help the people, they keep on repeating they are only determined to help the farmers who are the backbone of this society that nobody can prevent them helping farmers, that nobody can stop giving away fertiliser at subsidized rates, that they would not get caught in the trap of the opposition who want to create crop failures by not giving fertilizer at subsidised rates.
Of course there is some truth, that cultivation free from agro chemicals does not give the same high yield but the total truth is that higher yield from current crop could be obtained only by continuously applying more inputs than before at a larger cost, and the lesser amount of yield from a crop free from toxic is obtained at a much lesser cost.
It is also a fact that reclaiming of unpolluted and naturally fertilized soil would take place after a couple of years, because the soil needs some time to heal itself, from injury inflicted upon it with toxic.
It is interesting to note that it was done with the collaboration of WHO a sister organization of the FAO which brought several university dons to do research and to come out with different reasons for the present unusual spread of CKD, when there are several reasons everybody will tend to believe that agro chemicals is not the cause.
Further, to keep the public in the dark and to demonstrate their interest in helping the patients they also got couple of exhibits of so called highly sophisticated kidney treatment units with ultra modern medical equipment, thereby creating another source of money earnings at the expense of CKD.
"The government’s demonstrated apathy toward this human disaster is certainly motivated by enormous gains of different kinds to almost each and everybody in the agro chemical and drug trade"
However, all these deceptions have now come to an end, truths have been exposed, but it appears they are not willing to give up, and they want to continue the inhuman business and now they have begun to use another strategy. That is to get the farmers to use organic fertiliser, saying that it is safe. But the actual fact is that it is not true, what they have in mind is to do another business.
A review of 237 research studies into organic food has found the products were 30% less likely to pesticides residues than conventionally grown fruits and vegetables. Dr. Crystal Smithspangler said some believe that organic food was always healthier and nutritious, but surprisingly they had not found it so.
In fact, the Green Economy and organic farming are highly deceptive ways of continuing fertiliser and other agro input business in agriculture.
A couple of days back, it was announced by the government that a sub committee has been appointed to look in to the issue of CKDU.
Then the WHO wanted to stipulate safe levels in the toxic inputs. All those are different ways of continuing the multi million rupee businesses.
But the government should note that the general public cannot be deceived any longer, the limit of their tolerance and patients will burst soon.
Therefore, the government should urgently resort to take some sensible action to control the agro chemical caused chronic kidney disease which is now ruining the country as a terrible epidemic. It is now high time to think of the country first and foremost.
The problem of finding funds for the delivery of CKD and the environment recovery package could be easily solved by getting the support of the UN Food and Agricultural Organisation, which introduced agro chemicals with prior knowledge of its severe consequences to life and environment to pay as compensation for the damage, since it is now proven and established with concrete evidence that UN/ FAO is accountable for violation of people’s right to life in this country.