President to appoint task force to tackle killer kidney disease

By Don Asoka Wijewardena

A Presidential Task Force is expected to be appointed shortly to tackle the rapidly spreading chronic kidney disease. It will comprise fifteen Cabinet Ministers, fifteen secretaries to ministries and several top academics with President Mahinda Rajapaksa as chairman.

Chronic kidney disease research team headed by Dr. Mrs. Kamani Wanigasuriya said that the time had come to take action to prevent the disease as it snuffed out the lives of as many as 13 persons a day. Around 20,000 people, mainly farmers, had been affected. A presidential task force would be appointed to prevent the CKD as it had been showing an upward trend in several parts of the country in addition to the North-Central Province, she said.

Dr. Mrs. Wanigasuriya said to prevent the chronic kidney disease of multi-factorial origin (CKD mfo) affecting the North-Cental Province it was necessary to educate farmers on the prevention of water and environmental pollution and the need to adopt proper safety precautions when they handled agrochemicals and petrochemicals.

She added that it was necessary to ban the application of chemicals immediately before the harvesting of fruits and vegetables. Regulating chemical fertilisers and toxic agrochemicals was also essential, she said, pointing out that life expectancy in any country was directly related to the provision of clean water and sanitation.

The Government Medical Officers Association (GMOA) General Committee member Dr. Nalinda Herath, when contacted for comment, said that his organisation welcomed the appointment of a Presidential Task Force to prevent the chronic kidney disease which had spread to several provinces.

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