Key words: CKDnt; La Isla Network; San Antonio Sugar Mill; work practices.
Despite early friction between the La Isla Foundation and the San Antonio Sugar Mill in Chichigalpa, Nicaragua, in 2019 an initiative called Adelante was funded by two German organisations. The initiative helped the foundation and the mill to cooperate in research to validate and adapt new work practices which would help sugar cane workers avoid or reduce the risk of contracting CKDnt (chronic kidney disease of non-traditional sources) as a result of their work in searing temperatures, with little shade and insufficient water.
The Adelante Initiative is a workplace intervention focused on providing adequate measures such as water, rest, shade, and improved ergonomics to prevent CKDnt among sugarcane workers. The La Isla Network (LIN), which sprang out of the La Isla Foundation, is concentrating its efforts in the sugarcane sector due to the high prevalence of the disease. The results from the initiative will be adapted to other geographies and industries.
The San Antonio Sugar Mill and LIN continue to invest their own resources into the project and additional support is provided by other project partners who are critical to the success of Adelante. The Nicaragua Sugar Producers Association ensure the project grows both within Nicaragua and the region. Bonsucro ensures the findings are disseminated internationally and the findings are being incorporated into an improved Bonsucro Standard.
Most recently the LIN has become a recipient of a Belmont Forum grant for the project ‘Prevention Resilience Efficiency and Protection’ (PREP) for workers in industrial agriculture in a changing climate. The Belmont Forum is a partnership of funding organisations, international science councils, and regional consortia committed to the advancement of science.
PREP will use the results of the Adelante Initiative to investigate:
- the immediate and long-term impact the intervention has on workforce health (kidney health and heat-related injuries) and productivity;
- the economic and social impacts on those affected by the disease and whether LIN’s intervention aids resilience, which includes mitigating migration pressures;
- the economic burden on health systems treating CKDnt;
- an analysis of public health policies to understand what specific policies, or absence of them, have contributed to CKDnt, while investigating what policies are required to effectively address the disease.
The PREP Project aims to strengthen protections for worker’s health by building on the Adelante Initiative.
The lay summary of LIN’s most recent publication is available at:https://drive.google.com/file/d/17BBcQPUn0M0ZbKsLsrmIa1bi7l_PUByD/view?usp=sharing&mc_cid=29497377df&mc_eid=[UNIQID]
For more information on PREP, please visit:
Other LIN, CKDnt and PREP videos:
LIN website: laislanetwork.org