Delegates of the countries of the Americas attending the 52nd Directing Council of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) considered a resolution that recognizes chronic kidney disease from non-traditional causes as a serious public health problem and that urges Member States to promote research to determine the causes of this disease, among other measures.
In Central America, a growing number of chronic kidney disease cases have been reported that are not related to the causes most frequently associated with the condition, such as diabetes and hypertension. The disease is most common among underprivileged young men and farm workers living in agricultural communities. The cases are concentrated along the Pacific coast and have been associated with various factors, including environmental toxins (probably agrochemicals) and occupational risks (inadequate occupational health in conditions of high temperatures and insufficient water intake), among others.
The delegate of Cuba highlighted his country’s cooperation activities with El Salvador and PAHO and associated research findings, and expressed Cuba’s support for the proposed resolution. Canada acknowledged that this disease requires greater attention, in particular since it affects low-resource populations, and that the issue be addressed. The delegate of Jamaica also expressed his country’s support for the resolution.
The delegation of Brazil noted that the response to this disease requires a multisectoral approach and called for a greater focus on regulatory control over the risks to which agricultural workers are exposed. The Colombian representative highlighted the urgent need for research to determine the causes of the disease. She called for support to the development of information systems and offered to share her country’s experiences in the collection of data related to chronic kidney disease in general. Mexico underscored the fact that more knowledge is needed about the disease, especially regarding its origins.