The new CENCAM Board has been defining different strategies to increase CENCAM visibility and active engagement among CENCAM members and outside CENCAM. In order to achieve this goal and better organize our work, we have created subcommittees within the Board, including Clinical Issues, Visibility and Active Engagement, Literature Review, and Mission and Vision. All these subcommittees have been doing a tremendous effort on developing work plans for the coming year.
The goal of the clinical subcommittee is to highlight the similarities and differences between kidney disease in general, versus kidney disease affecting the specific communities in which Mesoamerican nephropathy/CKDu is endemic. Some of key issues of discussion & engagement by the clinical committee include:
1) Strategies for population-wide screening that distinguish kidney disease from Mesoamerican nephropathy/CKDu
2) The lack of ‘traditional’ risk factors in affected patients
3) What simple strategies / tools to offer patients, given the context of no known
4) Provision of treatment for people with advanced kidney disease
In addition to contributing to the CENCAM organized webinars, the committee is exploring opportunities to directly engage with medical trainees and health care workers in Mesoamerican countries, and pathways to providing consultations to countries with interest in our expertise.
Mission and Vision Subcommittee
The Mission and Vision subcommittee was formed to guide the Board in thinking about what CENCAM can and should be in the future. Much has changed since CENCAM was started in 2012. Since that time, membership has more than doubled, publications have increased dramatically and evidence of CKDu exists outside of Mesoamerica. As a network of researchers currently working without funding, this working group aims to help to Board consider how the organization might better serve researchers and the communities affected by CKDu.
Visibility and Active Engagement Subcommittee
The Visibility and Active Engagement and Clinical Issues subcommittees have jointly developed a fantastic plan to share new knowledge or to discuss controversies about CKDu through live webinars by using social media like Twitter and Zoom. The aim is to share knowledge and discussion with CENCAM members and non-CENCAM members across geographic boundaries and provide the opportunities to learn from ongoing studies in CKDu.
Literature Review Subcommittee
The mission of the literature review subcommittee is to identify, discuss and prepare a written overview of research findings of chronic kidney disease of unknown etiology in Mesoamerica and Asia regions.