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UMH INVESTIGATORS WORK ON THE ORIGINS OF CHRONIC KIDNEY DISEASE OF NON-TRADITIONAL CAUSES IN CENTRAL AMERICA


The Chemical Safety and Toxicology group at the Institute of Bioengineering of the Miguel Hernández University of Elche is conducting a biomarker study to learn of the origins of chronic kidney disease of non-traditional causes (CKDnT) in Central America. The international development cooperation project, entitled “Training and Education on Prevention and Diagnosis of Environmental Factors and Health in Nicaragua,” began in 2018 and has been managed by the Area of Development Cooperation and Volunteerism at the Vice Rectorate for International Relations through a 2017 university development cooperation agreement with the Generalitat Valenciana. The project consists of various research stages that aim to determine the causes of a disease that, according to official Nicaraguan government data, affected 12,674 people in 2018, representing 19.6% out of 10,000 inhabitants.

Professor emeritus and research group director, Eugenio Vilanova, explains how this situation is proof of a CKDnT epidemic in Central America. As for the primary causes of this epidemic, the research team contends that they have not been clarified, despite the most severe cases being found in people involved in agricultural activities under high temperatures and periods of dehydration. “We have sufficient data, reaffirmed these months, that show that the causes of the problem are linked to the communities where the affected people live,” adds Vilanova. Regarding the data extracted by the Institute of Bioengineering of Nicaraguan aquifers, the group has not detected any contaminants or toxins, but warns of a predictive value of the profile characteristics of the elements present in the water with respect to the prevalence of the disease. However, the professor emeritus points out that the study is not broad enough in the number of samples to reach a definitive conclusion.

The funding obtained enabled a training and research stay by Nicaraguan physician, Ariel José Arias Zepeda, who designed the protocol for continuing the project and working on possible new lines of funding. According to Arias, said protocol permits identifying the factors that are associated with the presence of the disease. “The disease impacts, above all, communities where social inequality is high, so the identification and timely treatment of these patients would allow us to balance that inequality,” adds the physician.

The difficulties of completing some field actions in rural Nicaraguan communities resulted in widening the field of study through multinational actions along with Panamanian institutions. For this, investigator Vilanova visited that Central American country where he met with local health professionals from the province of Coclé. During that trip, Vilanova, and IB investigator, Roberto Ruiz, visited several families to learn of the state of health and document possible risk factors of CKDnT. Furthermore, both investigators also met with experts from the Technological University of Panama, and participated in the international meeting held at the University of Panama on occupational health linked to stress due to heat and chronic kidney disease.

This work is aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals from the 2030 Agenda approved by the United Nations. The actions being undertaken are intended to respond to SDG 3: Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages.

     


20 November 2019 and Comments off

(Español) FINALIZA EL IX PROGRAMA DE VOLUNTARIADO DE LA UMH EN RUANDA


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8 October 2019 Comments off

(Español) LA UMH PRESENTA EL CURSO BASADO EN LA TRANSPARENCIA EN LA GESTIÓN DE COOPERACIÓN AL DESARROLLO


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19 September 2019 Comments off

(Español) PUBLICADO EL LISTADO DEFINITIVO DE AYUDAS UMH PARA IMPULSAR TFG Y TFM SOBRE COOPERACIÓN INTERNACIONAL AL DESARROLLO


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18 September 2019 Comments off

(Español) PUBLICADO EL LISTADO DEFINITIVO DE BECAS CONCEDIDAS PARA EL MÁSTER INTERUNIVERSITARIO EN COOPERACIÓN AL DESARROLLO, CURSO 2019/2020


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18 September 2019 Comments off

UMH VOLUNTEER PROGRAM IN RWANDA ENHANCES THE DEVELOPMENT COOPERATION TRAINING LEVELS OF ITS PARTICIPANTS


During the months of July, August, and September, a total of 19 Miguel Hernández University of Elche students, faculty members, and alumni traveled to Rwanda to participate in the ninth edition of the UMH International Cooperation Volunteerism Program there. During the approximately one month that each volunteer stays in the country, they carry out various development cooperation projects that are overseen by the Area of Development Cooperation and Volunteerism of the UMH Vice Rectorate for International Relations.

During their stays on the African continent, the participants undergo training sessions on several topics, including the history of Rwanda, development cooperation, humanitarian aid, volunteerism, and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, among others. Such training efforts began last year with the aim of helping these participants to contextualize the realities of Africa and inform them about theoretical and practical aspects of the third sector. The response to this training has been very positive, as the recipients during the months of July and August indicated that not only did it immediately help them during their stays there, but that it will also help them in future cooperation projects. They have particularly enjoyed the specific knowledge gained on volunteerism and learning about the realities of Africa, and Rwanda, in particular.  

The program that trains international cooperation volunteers that has been rolled out by the UMH in Rwanda forms part of the 2018 University Development Cooperation Agreement signed by the Generalitat Valenciana, through its Consellería of Transparency, Social Responsibility, Participation and Cooperation and Democratic Quality, along with the UMH.

This agreement highlights the relevance of the social function of the university to contribute to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations 2030 Agenda. Its 17 goals aim to strengthen peace, end poverty, and guarantee human rights for all people.

The September group of volunteers recently left for Rwanda, to continue with directed training activities for students at the ESSA Ruhengeri public high school located in the city of Musanze, and to continue with ongoing efforts at the Nemba Hospital. These projects were born out of collaboration with Rwandan institutions with the objective of improving the quality of life and skills for that country’s population.


6 September 2019 and Comments off