KIDNEY DISEASE & SUGARCANE WORKERS
Kidney Disease & Sugarcane Workers
Beyond Nicaragua, where the average life span of men who harvest sugarcane is 49 years, the Central American country of El Salvador is also impacted by the epidemic known as Chronic Kidney Disease of non-traditional causes (CKDnT). According to the Center for Public Integrity, CKDnT is now killing more people in Nicaragua and El Salvador – the 2 countries with the highest magnitude of mortality from the disease – than HIV/AIDS, diabetes, and leukemia combined.
With one private sugar mill in El Salvador poised to make history by becoming the site of the first ever CKDnT workplace intervention in Central America, labor conditions have improved due to increased water access, shade and mandatory breaks. However, since this fatal disease is both a global public health crisis and a social injustice, more research and health solutions are essential to continue creating a positive impact in the lives of effected workers, their families, and local communities.
Using the power of photography and video to generate education, support, and community awareness, Kashi states, “My passion and commitment to being a part of positive change, while continuing the drumbeat of awareness, has only grown as I watch another child left fatherless and another family confronting an illness that can be avoided.”
See more portraits and reportage photographs from this project. Also watch the film Under Cane here.
**Note – all names in this photo essay withheld for the protection of the subjects.**