Renal disorders are very prevalent in Canacona. VIBHA VERMA delves into the history of this disease in the taluka down the years
The widespread prevalence of renal disorders in the southernmost taluka has unarguably been a matter of great concern as the issue even echoed in the Rajya Sabha, over seven years ago.
Former Union Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare Panabaka Lakshmi had tabled in the House findings of the Indian Council for Medical Research that pointed at a high prevalence of renal diseases in the Canacona. It was reported the kidney ailment has remained a predominant issued since the 90s.
According to a sample study conducted by the department of Urology, KLE University’s JN Medical College and KLES Dr Prabhakar Kore Hospital and MRC, Belgaum; renal disorders, including urolithiasis and chronic renal failure, were high among the Canacona inhabitants. Its team of doctors, in a free medical camp held about a decade ago, had analysed the pattern of genitor-urinary problems and found that out of "298 patients who attended the camp, 40.9 per cent had urolithiasis, 12.9 per cent had chronic renal failure and 12.8 per cent had lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) secondary to Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia."
Past studies conducted to ascertain the reason for this high prevalence concluded this disease seems to be similar to Balkan Endemic Nephropathy (BEN) which is an ‘environmentally acquired disease and the most plausible environmental agents responsible are the mycotoxins produced by fungi. These mycotoxins are natural products produced by the fungi that evoke a toxic response when consumed in low concentration by higher vertebrates.’
Similarly, various government organisations and hospitals have also carried out separate studies wherein kidney ailments were attributed to various factors.
Another medical camp held by Lilawati Hospital, Mumbai in 2008 had indicated that consuming large quantum of dry fruits, pickles and soft drinks could be the reason while a few other doctors opined that less water intake also lead to kidney ailment/ failures.
It was in 2009 that the then Central and State government had urged the locals to help find the root cause of the problem but a Goa Medical College’s urology doctor told Herald that there has not been any success to unearth the exact reasons behind the highest rate of kidney failures in the taluka.