Sri Lanka leads in kidney disease research -Dr. Mehta
The Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) is an emerging global health problem
and around 10 countries, including, Sri Lanka are affected. According to
the World Health Organization (WHO) Country Representative Dr. Firdosi
Rustom Mehta no other countries has commenced a wide research programme
about this issue as Sri Lanka has already done.
The WHO had appointed an international team to do research related to
CKD on a request made by Health Minister Maitripala Sirisena and this
team commenced research about under the patronage of WHO Headquarters
Senior Advisor Prof.Shanthi Mendis.
This team has planned to conduct their research under four key
research questions. They are: What is the prevalence of CKD?,What is the
incidence of CKD?, What is the exact geographical distribution of CKD?
and Which strategies could prevent the condition?.
While continuing their research based on these questions, they have
found that CKD cases has been observed in North Central, North Western,
Uva and Eastern Provinces and it was also revealed that 8,000 people are
currently undergoing treatment for this condition.
Experiments on CKD cases were conducted on a wide scale with the
assistance of a number of institutions and it has been developed as a
national research programme.
According to Prof. Mendis heavy metals could cause this condition and
they have already conducted several experiments on three heavy metals,
namely, cadmium, arsenic and lead. She said heavy metals are contained
in soil, water and the food chain on a normal level and if it increases,
it will be a threat to ones health.
Further research is being carried out to work out strategies which
can control heavy metal rates.
“The team is conducting research in the Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa and
The Health Ministry had already established a special treatment
centre for kidney disease and a kidney treatment centre in the
Polonnaruwa district,” Health Ministry Additional Secretary Dr.Palitha
“All arrangements are in place to establish special units for kidney
patients in every main hospital in the North Central Province.
They also provide high quality treatment through these units through
the use of modern equipment,” he explained.