VISAKHAPATNAM: Experts from Sri Lanka, London School of Tropical Medical and Hygiene, Nizam Institute of Medical Science, Hyderabad and National Institute of Epidemiology, ICMR, Chennai, have come together to pinpoint the reason behind Chronic Kidney Disease of unknown origin affecting a large number of people from Uddanam region of Srikakulam district.
Experts put forth their opinions and ways to detect the reason behind CKD at a brainstorming session at the GITAM Institute of Medical Sciences and Research. They interacted with the GITAM University researchers during the seminar. Several hypotheses incriminated factors like silica, hot climate, dehydration, leptospira infections, heavy metals, agriculture, exposure to pesticides, injection of painkillers attributing them to be the causes precipitating the disease. However, sporadic reports and studies are unable to examine the cause and thereby the disease still persists in this area.
Similar health situation was also found in neighbouring Sri Lanka. The government of Sri Lanka initiated systematic measures to investigate and document the disease and implemented effective disease control measures. At the outset, Dr S.P. Rao, Principal, GITAM Inst Med Science outlined the magnitude of the problem. He lamented that there are no clear-cut definition of the disease and the disease might be different from that found in other parts of the world.
He opined that a systematic multi-pronged approach will be able to reveal the cause of the disease. Dr T. Gangadhar explained in his presentation that silica in water might be responsible for CKD. He said that in water samples collected from Srikakulam area, high content of silica was found. He also lamented that no systematic study has so far been attempted in Srikakulam district. The diagnosis of CKD should be based on eliminating all possible causes of CKD including hypertension, diabetes and vascular diseases. Dr Thilanga and Dr Nalika spoke at length and narrated the methods of systematic data collection, disease definition and its classification into suspected, probable and definitive.
The government of Sri Lanka and Colombo University jointly undertook the work of systematic disease diagnosis and control measures. GITAM University and Dr Ravi Raju will now undertake systematic scientifically sound follow-up research design to monitor the population living at Uddanam area. Several surveillance measures will be followed and a series of investigations to unearth the cause of this disease....