President Maithripala Sirisena discussed with medical experts from Cuba and El Salvador regarding launching of a trilateral cooperation for eradication of Chronic Kidney Disease of Unknown Etiology (CKDu). This discussion was held at the President’s official residence at Mahagama Sekera Mawatha in Colombo today (April 29).
President Sirisena said the excessive use of chemical fertilizer was the cause for prevalent of CKDu in Sri Lanka. He added that he used only compost fertilizer in his own paddy field in Polonnaruwa and urged every farmer to switch over to compost fertilizer.
Cuban Ambassador Florentino Batista said that although Cuba and El Salvador are agricultural countries with similar climates, the number of cases of kidney patients in El Salvador is many times more because, unlike Cuba, the chemical fertilizer usage in El Salvador is very high.
Dr Carlos Manuel Orantes Navarro, Head of the Health Research Department of the National Institute of Health in El Salvador said that there are many similarities in kidney related diseases in the agricultural areas in his country and in Sri Lanka. Hence, cooperation in this field will benefit both countries, he said.
Prof Raul Herrera Valdes of Institute of Nephrology in Havana said Cuba could provide expertise for prevention of CKDu as it has assisted El Salvador to implement CKDu prevention programmes.
Dr Channa Jayasumana of the Department of Pharmacology of Rajarata University, explained his experiences in studying CKDu prevention programmes in El Salvador. Mr Asela Iddawela, Project Director of the Presidential secretariat also took part in the discussion.