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Concept: Central Province, Sri Lanka

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During the last two decades, Sri Lanka, located close to the equator, has experienced an escalating incidence of chronic kidney disease (CKD) of unknown aetiology (CKDue) in dry zonal areas. Similar incidences of unusual CKDs have been reported in the dry zonal, agricultural areas of several other equatorial countries. In Sri Lanka, the incidence of CKDue is highest in the North Central Province (NCP), where approximately 45 % of the country’s paddy fields are located. However, in recent years, the disease has spread into areas adjacent to as well as distant from the NCP. The cause of CKD in Sri Lanka is unknown, and may likely due to interactions of different potential agents; thus, CKD is of multi-factorial origin (CKD-mfo). These factors include, the negative effects from overuse of agrochemicals. Nevertheless, the potential interactions and synergism between probable agents have not been studied. This systematic review discusses the proposed hypotheses and causes of CKD-mfo in Sri Lanka, and ways to decrease the incidence of this disease and to eradicate it, and provide some recommendations. During the past decade, a number of groups have investigated this disorder using different methodologies and reported various correlations, but failed to find a cause. Research has focussed on the contamination of water with heavy metals, agrochemicals, hard water, algae, ionicity, climate change, and so forth. Nevertheless, the levels of any of the pollutants or conditions reported in water in NPC are inconsistent not correlated with the prevalence of the disease, and are too low to be the sole cause of CKD-mfo. Meanwhile, several nephrotoxins prevalent in the region, including medications, leptospirosis, toxic herbs, illicit alcohol, locally grown tobacco, and petrochemicals, as well as the effects of changed habits occured over the past four decades have not been studied to date. Taken together, the geographical distribution and overall findings indicate that combinations of factors and/or their interactions are likely to precipitate CKD-mfo, which kills more than 5,000 people annually in Sri Lanka; most victims are middle-aged male farmers. Much anecdotal evidence from this region suggests that consumption of contaminated water is the most likely source of this deadly disease. Although the aetiology is unknown, prevention of this “environmentally acquired” disease seems relatively straightforward. Solutions include (a) preventing environmental pollution, (b) stopping the irresponsible use and decreasing the usage of agrochemicals, and encouraging the use of environmentally friendly agricultural methods, © taking proper precautions when using agrochemicals and safe disposal of their containers, (d) changing the risky behaviour of farmers and educating them to preserve the environment, and (e) providing clean potable water to all affected regions. Implementing a well-coordinated, in-depth, region-wide, broad-based research study together with a long-term effective surveillance programme across the country is essential to curbing this disease. Unless firm actions are taken promptly, more than three million healthy people in the country, live in agricultural regions, are at risk for contracting CKD-mfo and succumb to premature deaths, which are preventable.

Concepts: Chronic kidney disease, Kidney, Water, Incidence, Sri Lanka, Prevalence, Northern Province, Sri Lanka, Central Province, Sri Lanka

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Socio-economic, demographic factors and Knowledge Attitude Practices (KAPs) have been recognized as critical factors that influence the incidence and transmission of dengue epidemics. However, studies that characterize above features of a risk free or low risk population are rare. Therefore, the present study was conducted to characterize the household related, demographic, socio-economic factors and KAPs status of five selected dengue free communities.

Concepts: Demography, Sociology, Cultural studies, Sri Lanka, Colombo, Kandy, Sri Lankan Moors, Central Province, Sri Lanka

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High incidence of chronic kidney disease of unknown etiology (CKDU) prevalent in many countries (e.g., Sri Lanka, equatorial America) is reviewed in the context of recent experimental work and using our understanding of the hydration of ions and proteins. Qualitative considerations based on Hofmeister-type action of these ions, as well as quantitative electrochemical models for the Gibbs free energy change for ionpair formation, are used to explain why (1) fluoride and water hardness due to magnesium ions (but not due to calcium ions) and similarly (2) cadmium ions in the presence of suitable pairing ions can be expected to be more nephrotoxic, while arsenite in the presence of fluoride and hardness may be expected to be less nephrotoxic. No synergy of arsenic with calcium hardness is found. The analysis is applied to a variety of ionic species that may be found in typical water sources to predict their likely combined electrochemical action. These results clarify the origins of chronic kidney disease that has reached epidemic proportions in the North Central Province of Sri Lanka as being most likely due to the joint presence of fluoride and magnesium ions in drinking water. The conclusion is further strengthened by a study of the dietary load of Cd and other toxins in the affected regions and in the healthy regions where the dietary toxin loads and lifestyles are similar, and found to be safe especially when the mitigating effects of micronutrient ionic forms of Zn, Se, as well as corrections for bioavailability are taken into account. The resulting etiological picture is consistent with the views of most workers in the field who have suspected that fluoride and other ions found in the hard water stagnant in shallow household wells were the major causative factors of the disease. Similar incidence of CKDu found in other hot tropical climates is likely to have similar origins.

Concepts: Medicine, Epidemiology, Water, Calcium, Gibbs free energy, Sri Lanka, Hard water, Central Province, Sri Lanka

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Leishmaniasis and melioidosis are frequently reported from the North Central Province of Sri Lanka. However, only one case of co-infection of the two diseases has been reported to date over the world. This is a case report of a patient who had co-infection with cutaneous leishmaniasis and melioidosis and was successfully treated and recovered from the illness.

Concepts: Sri Lanka, Central Province, Sri Lanka, Provinces of Sri Lanka, North Western Province, Sri Lanka

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To ascertain if the factors associated with depression differ among ethnic groups in community-dwelling older people in Kandy District, Sri Lanka.

Concepts: Race, Ethnic group, Sri Lanka, South Asia, Ethnicity, Kandy, Central Province, Sri Lanka

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Lifestyle factors associated with hypertension (HT) in South Asian populations are relatively unknown. The objective of the current study was to investigate the prevalence rates of undiagnosed HT and factors associated with it in a cohort of males from the Central Province of Sri Lanka.

Concepts: Sri Lanka, South Asia, Tamil language, Kandy, Central Province, Sri Lanka, Provinces of Sri Lanka, Uva Province, North Western Province, Sri Lanka

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Chronic kidney disease of unknown aetiology (CKDu) is prevalent in the North Central Province (NCP) of Sri Lanka and ingestion of dug well water is considered a potential causative factor. Three CKDu prevalent villages were selected from the NCP based on the number of CKDu patients in the locality.

Concepts: Medicine, Sri Lanka, Tamil language, Central Province, Sri Lanka, Provinces of Sri Lanka, North Western Province, Sri Lanka

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Despite interventions, childhood anemia is still a major public health problem in low and middle income countries. Purpose of the present study is to determine factors associated with anemia among rural primary school children in Sri Lanka, a country undergoing rapid socioeconomic changes.

Concepts: Sri Lanka, Central Province, Sri Lanka, Provinces of Sri Lanka

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To describe the pattern of clinical euthyroidgoitre in a tertiary care unit in Sri Lanka before and after iodination of salt in Sri Lanka.

Concepts: Sri Lanka, Tamil language, Kandy, Central Province, Sri Lanka, Provinces of Sri Lanka, Uva Province, North Western Province, Sri Lanka

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Measles caused by a paramyxovirus, characterized by fever, malaise, cough, coryza conjunctivitis, a maculopapular rash is known to result in pneumonia, encephalitis and death. Fatal cases of measles in Sri Lanka are rare after implementation of the National Immunization Programme in 1984. Thereafter 0.1% case fatality rate was observed during October 1999-June 2000 which is a very low figure compared to other regional countries. Immunization guidelines were further revised in 2001, 2011 and in 2012 when additional immunization was recommended to age group 4-21 years; who are likely to have inadequate immunization, in order to achieve elimination of Measles by 2020. However, in 2013-2014, 4690 cases were reported and the majority were children less than 1 year of age. The occurrence in adults is hard to retrieve in published epidemiological reports, however had been 38% (out of 1008 patients) in the 3rd quarter of 2013. During this outbreak 73/101 (72%) reported from the North Central Province of Sri Lanka had been more than 12 years of age with 50% being more than 29 years. 14 Sri lankan adult patients [median age 32 years (range 25-48)] who presented sporadically from June 2014 to March 2016, with confirmed measles infection were enrolled retrospectively after informed consent. Details with regards to their clinical presentation, immunization and other relevant areas were collected using an interviewer administered questionnaire or using patient management records.

Concepts: Sri Lanka, Measles, Years in the future, Lanka, Northern Province, Sri Lanka, Central Province, Sri Lanka, Provinces of Sri Lanka, Eastern Province, Sri Lanka