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Policy & Global Development


The voice of those affected by Mesoamerican Nephropathy


During the last 20 years, Central America has seen a dramatic increase in chronic kidney disease, unexplained by conventional risk factors, which primarily affects male workers in the agricultural sector. Similar increases are also reported from Sri Lanka, India, and a few other countries with a subtropical or tropical climate. Among the plausible causes is the use of nephrotoxic agrichemicals or the exposure to high temperatures at work in the context of a climate change scenario.

Research aiming at understanding this enigmatic disease and identify etiology and preventive measures have been ongoing. However, efforts to understand the social determinants of wellbeing and quality of life, as well as issues around health care access are also equally important, since this disease means for many of them a death sentence at a very young age and has an important socio-economic impact in their families and communities.

This documentary based on a “Photovoice” research project puts the affected people and communities at the center and wants to raise their voices and experiences so this mysterious disease receives more attention from the international global health community, particularly by reclaiming more fair and equal access to health care and social protection measures, as well as health promotion and preventive actions within their communities.


Photovoice, Finalist of the WHO Health For All Film Festival

Photovoice has been selected among 1.200 entries for the 2nd edition of the WHO Film Festival, together with other 14 videos in the “Better Health and Well'' category. WHO staff from all over the world participated in this preselection. WHO is inviting all of us to contribute until 10 May 2021 to post comments or questions in the comment section of those videos through their Youtube links.