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Break-through in Chronic Kidney Disease of unknown etiology to be addressed in SL

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By Shannon Jayawardena

A break-through in Chronic Kidney Disease of unknown etiology (CKDu) has been made by world renowned Professor Mark de Broe from the University of Antwerp, Belgium. He is to discuss the information during 7-10 February 218 at the Kotelawala Defence University Medical Faculty.

In the past few years, the disease has emerged as a significant contributor to the burden of chronic kidney disease (CKD) in rural Sri Lanka. Geographical mapping has indicated a relationship between CKDu and agricultural irrigation water sources. 

A hypothesis has emerged that consistent exposure to agro chemicals, combined with hard work in the hot sun, dehydration, hard water, and allegedly, in addition, heavy consumption of illicit liquor, among factors combined with others is the cause for this epidemic but has failed to be proven of certainty.

The disease hence mainly affects the farming community in the country. Evidence to date suggests that the disease is related to one or more environmental agents, however pinpointing a definite cause for CKDU is a massive challenge and no specific cause has been confirmed up to date.

The syndrome has been classified as having five stages, one being the mildest and five the severest. Stages one and two lead to reversible kidney damage, while stage three and beyond cause permanent damage.

After years of study on the field, de Broe has finally managed to find the cause for CKDU which he is prepared to share with the public at the soon to be held KDU-Mayo International Medical Conference in Sri Lanka.

The Professor was formerly Head of the Department of Nephrology, Hypertension Renal Transplantation, University of Antwerp, and Director of the Renal Research Unit of the Faculty of Medicine, University of Antwerp and Dean of the Faculty of Medicine. Thus it is during this time period that he gained a vast knowledge on the disease.

As per his studies, de Broe has found an inclusion body that is the root cause of CKDU and he will reveal it for the first time at the conference. Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne is to partake at the event as the Chief Guest.

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