February 19, 2014

The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) recently published an article on the upcoming research studies on the epidemic of Chronic Kidney Disease of unknown origin (CKDu) amongst Nicaragua’s cane workers. To learn more about the epidemic and help find a solution, support Ed Kashi’s “Island of Widows” campaign.

Photo©2013_Ed Kashi/VII

According to ICIJ’s article, the Center for Disease Control will be organizing 3 studies about the causes of CKDu among sugarcane workers. However, this “research will be funded by $1.7 million from the Central American sugar industry – a setup raising concerns with some about how fully the studies will address the industry’s role in the outbreak. The CDC says it has protocols in place to prevent undue influence.”

Photo©2013_Ed Kashi/VII

Although a strong case may be made for dehydration’s role in the epidemic, scientists are still debating over data from multiple government backed studies in El Salvador and Sri Lanka, indicating pesticides and fertilizers to be a main culprit. ICIJ further notes, “For its part, the industry emphasizes the uncertainties in the science, and has long attributed the disease to alcohol abuse and poor health habits among its workers.”

Photo©2013_Ed Kashi/VII

Jason Glaser, CEO and Co-founder of La Isla Foundation, is quoted by ICIJ, “If you want to save lives, you need to focus on occupation and you need to get real.”

Help get to the bottom of this epidemic and find a solution. Support “The Island of Widows,” Ed Kashi’s all-or-nothing crowd-funding campaign. There are only two weeks left to reach the goal of $19,000. You can make a difference. Please contribute and spread the word.

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