February 6, 2014, 9:28 pm
Chronic Kidney Disease:
High risk areas to be declared
by Don Asoka Wijewardena
Special Projects Minister S. M. Chandrasena will submit a Cabinet paper on a priority basis to declare chronic kidney disease high risk areas.
Dr. Channa Jayasumana, Senior Lecturer in Medicine of the Rajarata university, spelt out the objectives of the project at a media conference held at Special Projects Ministry on Wednesday (6).
They are: collecting accurate information on the affected for a database, educating health and government officials on the consequences of the disease, providing clean drinking water to the people in the disease-hit areas, making available all the research findings to the people on the chronic kidney disease, taking action to prevent smoking, liquor consumption of people in the affected areas, increasing laboratory investigations on agro-chemicals, drinking water, blood and urine samples of the people in the affected areas, obtaining scientific knowledge from both local and foreign scientists and encouraging farmers to cultivate fruits, vegetables and cereals without using agro-chemicals,
Dr. Jayasumana pointed out that the government had accepted the research findings by his team. Even US Public Health Science Consultant physician Dr. Sarath Gunathilaka had published his findings in international journals.
The root cause of the chronic disease was identified as ‘Glyphosate’ contained in agro-chemicals. Glyphosate had been registered in 1964 in the world as a chemical agent which was capable of removing the hardness of water. In 1970 the USA Monsanto chemical company had purchased rights to this chemical and received the patent right, Dr. Jayasumana said.
The senior lecturer in medicine said that in paddy cultivation Glyphosate had been widely used to prepare soil. In 2012 alone Sri Lanka had imported about 500,000 MT of Glyphosate. The chemical Glyphosate mixed with hard water lasted for about 20 years. The Monsanto Company was well aware of that. In 1970s and 1980s there had been records of its use in the country, Dr. Jayasumane said.
Glyphosate was also capable of retaining heavy metals and arsenic in water in plenty. Arsenic and heavy metals were being sent to the kidneys through Glyphosate. The responsible company had not educated the people in affected areas on the precautions to be taken against the disease.
Dr. Jayasumana stressed that Consultant Nematologist Pro. Rezvi Sherrif and research team had scientifically identified the root cause of the chronic kidney disease as being heavy metals with arsenic contained in agro-chemicals, water hardness and Glyphosate weedicide.
He emphasised that it was the responsibility of the Sri Lanka government to take immediate action to ban the importation of such agro-chemicals to the country before they caused a widespread devastation.
Last Updated Feb 21 2017 | 09:21 pm