Comments on: Courage on the Island of Widows What makes a great picture? Thu, 18 Aug 2016 11:13:37 +0000 hourly 1 By: RHead Thu, 02 Feb 2012 22:48:40 +0000 I think one should be more careful when tackling a health problem such as Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD). I do not believe it’s appropriate to do so simply on the basis of what some of the affected say, without a minimum of research on the topic.

The deep respect we feel for the suffering of these people should not lead us to take for granted that the causes of the disease are linked to what they say, and therefore make veiled accusations against companies operating in the sector.

The productive practices of the sugar mills in the western part of Nicaragua are the same of the sugar industry around the world.

Furthermore, for example, Ingenio San Antonio (ISA), property of Nicaragua Sugar Estates Limited (NSEL), employs mechanical and biological pest control, practically eliminating all use of pesticides.

The agrochemicals that this company applies are properly registered in the competent ministries of the State of Nicaragua and they are also registered in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

As a result of an agreement between Asochivida, the country’s largest association of CKD patients, and NSEL, Boston University is currently undertaking a comprehensive study on the causes of CKD in the West region of the country. In one of the conclusive parts of the report of August 2010, it is said: “Based on the investigation described in this report, we found no evidence to conclude that work practices and chemicals used by ISA are causing CRI in ISA workers. Establishing whether there is in fact an association will require the creation of new scientific knowledge.”

The Office of the Compliance Advisor/Ombudsman – CAO – stated in a press release on January 26, 2012, among other things: “ (…) Boston University’s work builds on that of other researchers and indicates that the unusual form of CKD observed in former NSEL workers is prevalent throughout the Pacific zone of Central America, goes beyond sugarcane workers impacting workers in other industries, and has also been identified in Asia. (…) Boston University’s work is unprecedented in Nicaragua considering its scope, rigor, and unrestricted access to the company’s operations. (…) Medical needs for the sick are profound, particularly in light of the lack of options for medication, dialysis, and kidney transplant. These needs are being addressed by proposed improvements to the community health center in Chichigalpa. NSEL and ASOCHIVIDA are also working together to provide food aid, develop a microcredit program, and provide income generation projects to support affected community members. Throughout the dialogue process, NSEL has provided about US$4 million in support to community members through ASOCHIVIDA. (…) “Given the scope and magnitude of this disease, long term solutions will likely require a regional framework for research into its cause, inevitably linked to public policy.” said Meg Taylor, CAO and Vice President, World Bank Group. “It is CAO’s hope that broader engagement will lead to a collaborative effort during 2012 to tackle chronic kidney disease in Central America.””

( Mediastatement_Nicaraguachronickidneydis ease_012612.pdf)