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Contact: Meghan Canale                                                      FOR RELEASE MARCH 14, 2013

Email: meghan@laislafoundation.org

 

The Island of Widows

 

Leon, Nicaragua -- March 14, 2013 --  World Kidney Day 2013 marks a significant turning point in the fight against Chronic Kidney Disease of unknown cause (CKDu).  La Isla Foundation (LIF)  and our partners are closer than ever to finding the cause of this disease and implementing the necessary steps for future prevention. Our  public health and policy initiatives have built upon transnational momentum to end this disease once and for all.

In Chichigalpa, Nicaragua, the epidemic of CKDu among sugarcane workers has reached staggering rates. Over the past 10 years, 46% of male deaths in the town have been due to CKDu.  One of the hardest hit communities, La Isla, has seen up to 70% of the men working in sugarcane affected by the disease.  Due to the high mortality rate the community has been given the nickname Isla de las Viudas or The Island of Widows.

Inspired by the La Isla’s name, La Isla Foundation began their mission 5 years ago researching the cause of CKDu in affected communities.  With the commitment of volunteers, partners, and donors, the research team is closer than ever to finding the cause. Once the disease is fully understood, LIF will work with local and international actors to create an effective intervention focused on prevention.

However, this isn’t just a medical issue. CKDu prevention also depends on changing government and industry policies in protecting workers’ rights in Central America and ending the exploitative conditions that exacerbate the illness. As part of a long-term solution, LIF supports workers and their families impacted by CKDu through public health education, microloan facilitation, alternate job training, English courses, and community rights education. La Isla Foundation invites you to be part of the solution and help us spread awareness of this epidemic.

 

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Follow us on facebook: http://www.facebook.com/laislafoundation

Learn more about the epidemic: http://www.laislafoundation.org/

 

Sample tweet: @LaIslaFdn

- Happy @worldkidneyday! Learn more about CKDu in Nicaragua http://bit.ly/SHZTaF @LaIslaFdn

- Your Kidneys clean 180L of blood a day. Sick sugarcane cutters aren’t so lucky. @LaIslaFdn

 

Sample Facebook update: @La Isla Foundation

-@La Isla Foundation is closer than ever to finding the cause of a Chronic Kidney Disease epidemic affecting sugarcane workers (http://bit.ly/SHZTaF) in Central America. Learn more on our FB page.

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