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Meso-American Nephropathy in El Salvador: Increasing Farmer Participation in MeN Prevention Efforts

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DOI: 10.4236/odem.2019.72005    55 Downloads   95 Views


Objectives: This paper highlights and discusses major factors affecting Salvadoran farmers’ involvement in National Health System-led efforts to prevent MeN in El Salvador and includes some recommendations to enhance their involvement. Methods: The study, conducted in El Salvador in June 2018, involved 10 life-long farmers residing in five MeN-affected communities in Chalatenango and Usulutan Departments who were either MeN-free or MeN-controlled, to understand through semi-structured, qualitative interviews their experience of participation in broader epidemic control efforts. Complementary interviews held with two nephrology teams and a senior representative of the grassroots-level National Health Forum operating in the same area, provided necessary contrast. Interview questions were informed by reference to the Adaptation and Development after Persecution and Trauma (ADAPT) model [1] as applicable in post-conflict environments like El Salvador to analyze contextual factors influencing community participation. Findings: Farmers are scarcely involved in wider MeN prevention efforts in El Salvador despite greater National Health System emphasis on encouraging community participation since the approval of the 2009 Health Reform [2]. This study found that widespread insecurity due to gang warfare, declining family and social networks due to high murder rates and international migration, and unresolved sense of injustice over unremitting poverty are among major factors with potential destructive effect on farmer participation. Conclusions: Health system-led MeN prevention responses need to encompass attention to persisting social vulnerabilities in economically and socially marginalized communities in order to enhance farmer participation in this effort. This paper concludes with some recommendations on how this can be done.

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Bermudez, K. , Orantes, C. , León, M. , Jiménez, M. , Vidal, N. and Vos, P. (2019) Meso-American Nephropathy in El Salvador: Increasing Farmer Participation in MeN Prevention Efforts. Occupational Diseases and Environmental Medicine, 7, 50-63. doi: 10.4236/odem.2019.72005.

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