Men farming dry, lowlands throughout Central America, Sri Lanka, India, and Egypt are suffering from the epidemic of the disease CKD (Chronic Kidney Disease, a.k.a. CKD).  CKD is usually experienced by those who suffer from diabetes and hypertension, yet these farmers have neither. Researchers are at a loss for what could be the specific common denominator causing this widespread effect. The world is just starting to understand the extent of people affected by this disease. For example, in Sir Lanka, around 2.9 million people are expected to be at high risk of developing deadly CDK. As CNN reports,  “the Sri Lankan government has had enough of the mystery, convening experts from around the world…to find answers, in collaboration with the World Health Organization”. Stanford nephrologist Shuchi Anand, MD, is one scientist who is trying to do something about it. She has founded a working group through the university in order to further research on CDK as a disease, its definition, and the exact cause. Research has determined that it could be possibly an environmental factor that is causing this particular group of men to develop this deadly disease. However, agrochemicals, vegetation, infectious agents and heat stress are all possibilities. While there is no real answer to this mystery yet, the Sri Lanka government has taken matters into their own hands by banning one pesticide and adding labor laws to limit heat exposure. Anand urges governments and the general population to consider that immediate action might not be the best course until there is more research. I believe that Anand is wrong in this account. All possible action must be taken immediately as this is an issue that is affecting many of the working class in these developing countries, and because of disputes between labor and management, it is an issue that has long been ignored. These responses must also be balanced with continuous in-depth research which continues to elaborate on all possible causes.

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