When Worlds Collide, by Nalaka Gunawardene

Text of my ‘When Worlds Collide’ column published in Ceylon Today Sunday newspaper on 26 August 2012

My column last week, on large scale chronic kidney failure (scientifically abbreviated as CKDu) that has become a major public health crisis in Sri Lanka’s Dry Zone, inspired some discussion online — both on my blog and at Groundviews.org

Of course, scientists and environmentalists have been debating its causes for years without conclusive evidence or targeted action. Even then, the current silence of the state health bureaucracy frustrates many. A million US Dollar research study, initiated in 2008 with World Health Organisation (WHO) support, has been completed but its findings not released. Why?

As I noted, delays in releasing such studies will allow speculation and conspiracy theories to gain momentum. That helps no one.

At least two theories (among several competing ones) suggest a link between CKDu and agricultural runoff.


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