All You Need To Know About Andhra’s Scientific Enigma: Uddanam Nephropathy

Uddanam Nephropathy

Dr. Joseph Bonventre, chief of the renal division of Harvard Medical school paid a visit to Uddanam village accompanied by Pavan Kalyan’s Jana Sena Party, which is a hot-spot for Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD). Uddanam Narisangapalle is a coastal, rural region in Srikakulam district, Andhra Pradesh surfaced its first case in 90’s. This disease tentatively named as Uddanam Nephropathy came to light late.

Lands of green made its presence in the news for witnessing nearly 34,000 cases of Nephropathy – Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) and 4,500 deaths have occurred in the last decade. CKD emerged as a fatal disease among the young and middle-aged population with a lower socioeconomic status significantly farmers.

Firstly, symptoms considered in the diagnosis of CKD are:

  • Diabetes
  • Hypertension
  • Primary glomerular disease or Obstructive Nephropathy

Uddanam Nephropathy

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Even though the first case is reported decades back, a cause is yet to be scientifically established. Bearing in mind Sri Lankan CKD cases (One of the few hot spots for CKD), chemical fertilizers in modern agricultural methods, heat stress and environmental pollution are accounted causes.

However, given similar climatic conditions to Sri Lanka, it is necessary to explore the probability of heat stress in Uddanam. The CKD endemic village is showing significantly higher Silica and Strontium levels in drinking. Studies in experimental animals demonstrated Silica in the form of magnesium trisect was added to drinking water at higher levels in the higher ranges of environmental water samples. A Higher amount of Phenol and Mercury are found in the water, which is not suitable for consumption.

Even though Uddanam is famous for its cashew, coconut and rice farming, Srikakulam is the hub of industries. It is famous for its sugar manufacturers, Jute mills, Paper Mills, Pharmaceutical Laboratories, Chemical Industries, Iron & Steel, Synthetics and Polymers whose disposal of waste should be monitored and regulated.

Villagers of Uddanam say that their deprived health constraint them from work, leaving them in poor living conditions. CKD restricted youngsters to pursue their dreams for bright future. Few were forced to join the work force in the early stages of education to support the family. Some others are migrating from here for a better tomorrow. Relations are subsiding to borders as no one is beyond ready to get their children married in the village. Life expectancy in this village has been reduced rapidly.

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For this reason, World Health Organization (WHO) marked Uddanam as one of the three regions (Other two being Sri Lanka and Nicaragua) with highly affected CKD population. It constitutes 70% of patients from total suffering from CKD. For so many years, this region is ignored and is withdrawn from minimum health facilities. As per suggestions received, primary health centres with scanning and pathological facilities are to be established in this region for consistent tests to check the improvement. The deficit in government funding should be examined and researchers should be encouraged to join and solve this scientific enigma and improve health condition. Harvard team funded by Pavan Kalyan is new hope in the lives of Uddanam villagers.

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