Health ministers approved today 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 the resolution approved by the 52nd Directing Council of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), Member States also agreed to strengthen surveillance for this disease, as well as the necessary care, in addition to developing an inter-ministerial approach and forging the partnerships needed to confront this problem and to mitigate, on an urgent basis, the health, social, and economic consequences of this disease.
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.