Annually, approximately 5,000 people are diagnosed with Chronic Kidney Disease of Unknown Etiology (CKDu). Research has been conducted at the university as well as ministerial level since the disease was first recorded in the beginning of the 1990s. President Maithripala Sirisena pointed out that none of the reports including those of World Health Organization were conclusive about the origin of the disease.
He said thus during a felicitation of his contributions towards the prevention of chronic kidney disease held by the International Society of Nephrologists (ISN), during the inauguration of the ISN-Gardiner CKDu Fund at the Colombo Galle Face Hotel on December 19.
Low income farming communities are continuing to be victimized by CKDu. Provincial as well as district level programmes have been conducted under which their economic and social statuses and severe daily challenges they face have been looked into, said the President.
The President commended Asela Iddawela for his role as a Director of the Presidential Task Force on the Prevention of Chronic Kidney Disease. Sanjeev Gardiner, who heads the Gardiner Foundation has also been appointed as an Ambassador for the Prevention of Chronic Kidney Disease in order to garner national as well as international level cooperation to eliminate the said disease.
The President, while admitting that practical difficulties prevented the total eradication of kidney disease, informed that the Government strove to provide people with clean drinking water, common amenities, housing while also strengthening livelihoods.
Ministers, Ravi Karunanayake, Champika Ranawaka, Mahinda Samarasinghe, Arjuna Ranatunga, John Amaratunga, Presidential Secretary PB Abeykoon, ISN Secretary General Prof. Adeera Levin, United States Ambassador to Sri Lanka, Atul Keshap and Ambassador of the Presidential Task Force on the Prevention of Chronic Kidney Disease and the Chairman of Galle Face Hotel, Colombo, Sanjeev Gardiner attended the event.