Issue Date: May 31, 2011
In the early 1990s, hospitals in Sri Lanka’s North Central Province, the main agricultural region of the country, started reporting an unusually high incidence of chronic renal failure. About 5,000 persons reported ill in 1993. By 2009, the disease assumed epidemic proportions. That year over 9,000 patients from North Central and its neighbouring Uva and North Western provinces were under treatment in Anuradhapura Hospital alone. The disease, which often requires kidney transplant in its last stage, has since been a leading cause of deaths in the region.