The WE Program is a collaborative tool designed to end the epidemic of Chronic Kidney Disease of non-traditional causes currently affecting agricultural laborers in equatorial communities around the world.
WE WORKS BY:
To accomplish this mission, the WE Program has assembled a multi-stakeholder team committed to ending CKDu.
La Isla Network is a public health and policy NGO working at the intersection of public health and human rights to address the fatal epidemic of CKDu among sugarcane workers in Latin America.
Representatives of the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s Water.Rest.Shade. initiative provide recommendations for safe working conditions modified to suit the needs of cane cutters.
The Agency for Agricultural Development and Health is dedicated to encouraging and developing scientific research projects on occupational health and safety. These projects aim to build evidence and enable educated decision making on national and regional political levels in the areas of rural health, agriculture, and environmental biosafety.
Hydration backpack manufacturer CamelBak provides steeply discounted packs to the WE Program. The packs ensure workers have constant access to water while they work, preventing chronic dehydration, which drives CKDu onset.
Under the leadership of industry innovator Robert Quirk and the Australian Cane Farmers Association, trainers teach cane cutters techniques for energy preservation and increased productivity with the goal of reducing overall workload and boosting performance.
Salvadoran sugar mill El Angel (IEA) has set the precedent for forward-thinking, responsive, and responsible industry action to end the CKDu crisis. In hosting the first-ever workplace intervention study, El Angel management, employees, and cane workers have made the WE Program possible. (Read more about WE research.)
The Dutch National Postcode Lottery (NPL) is the main donor of the WE program. NPL is the largest charity lottery in the Netherlands and the third largest private donor in the world. This grant has funded one of the largest-ever projects to address the Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) epidemic in Central America.
Representing Karolinska Institutet, Lund University, the Program on Work and Health in Central America (SALTRA), University of Colorado Denver, and other institutions, WE researchers are analyzing occupational risks of CKDu (workload, repetitive injury, ergonomics, heat stress and dehydration) and assessing environmental exposures, including pesticides and rodent waste. Once data is collected and analyzed, these specialists will recommend how to limit workers’ exposure to confirmed risk factors.