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Wednesday 7 August 2013

Let them die to maintain the hegemony of western science

The opinion expressed by Prof. R. O. Thattil on “Heavy metals, gods, CKDu and govt. policy” in “The Island” of 2nd August 2013 is a clear example of what could be called the hegemony of western science. In essence what he says is that the cause or causes of what is known as the Chronic Kidney Disease (unidentified etiology) – CKDu-  is not known and as there are only half baked results the government should not make any changes of policy until the western scientists come out with the cause or the causes of CKDu. In the meantime let the patients die as there is no cure in western medicine for CKDu except the “kokatath thailaya” or dialyzing. If the patient is lucky enough he would be able to go through a transplant and save his life. Dialyzing is not a cure and the western medicine that has no treatment only manages the CKDu through this process. The western knowledge is all about management, though only recently the westerners themselves have realized it  resulting with the establishment of Faculties of Management.

The term “unidentified etiology” clearly illustrates that western science/medicine has not identified the cause of this particular Kidney Disease. The Disease had been there for at least thirty years and the local western “scientists” (I hate to call these people who have not come out with a new theory or a concept in western science as scientists. They are in effect glorified laboratory technicians or assistants. If they are scientists anybody with Advanced Level passes in western science subjects should also be called a scientist) have studied the problem for over two decades. We recently came to know that a similar disease has been spread in some of the South American countries including El Salvador and they had called the disease Kidney Disease due to nontraditional causes! The name indicates that the South Americans also did not know the cause of the disease spread among cane sugar farmers in those countries. Thus though there may be varieties of Kidney Diseases with known cause or causes this particular kidney disease found in Sri Lanka and some South American countries either had no cause or the causes were awaiting the arrival of a bright western “scientist” to reveal them leaving the patients to die without treatment. It is obvious that western medicine/science that does not know the cause of the CKDu has no treatment for it.

It should be stated before proceeding further that the disease is not found in Cuba, though they also grow cane sugar. The difference between Cuba and the South American countries where the Kidney Disease due to nontraditional causes is found is based on the use of Agrochemicals.  Cuba does not use Agrochemicals produced using the knowledge of western science (Chemistry, Agriculture) and they do not have to be worried of patients dying of the Kidney Disease. Two of the members of the Kelaniya team, Dr. Channa Jayasumana, probationary lecturer in Pharmacology who was recruited to the staff of the Department of Pharmacology, Rajarata University on the strength of his performance at the third MBBS examination and not at the final examination ( I will come out with more on this later after an enquiry instituted by the University of Kelaniya  on the qualifications of Dr. Jayasumana is over), and Dr. Kumudu Dahnayaka, consultant Judicial Medical Officer, that studied the problem were invited by the South Americans to El Salvador after they heard of our results and  conducted studies on Agrochemicals, pesticides, Arsenic and other heavy metals in Cuba. They are now convinced unlike our “scientists” that the disease is mainly due to Arsenic. In fact the Minster of Health in El Salvador has thanked our health ministry for sharing this knowledge.

We shall now come to the opinion of Prof. Thattil in more detail. He states “Overall the statements made in the discussion are very superficial with no attempt being made at recognizing that CKDu can be caused by a multiplicity of factors. It is also worth noting that factors need not be independently associated while interactions between factors are more likely. Interactions can also mask main effects and therefore Univariate analysis will be non – conclusive.”

Prof. Thattil perhaps wisely does not want to talk on the involvement of gods as it is not his field. Involvement of gods (not Gods), may not be his field, and he may not believe in the existence of gods who are invisible to most of us.  I wonder whether he believes in God who has apparently been visible to some prophets and others. In any event if he does not believe in gods simply because they are invisible to most of us but not to Mrs. Priyantha Senanayake and some others then he cannot believe in a gravitational force (field), as to my knowledge except for a senior lecturer in Chemistry with a Ph. D. from Cambridge nobody else has sensed gravitation. In other words almost all the “scientists” believe in gravitation, though only one of them has felt its presence.  Thus the invisible gravitation is believed to be present by the “scientists” though most of them find it stupid to believe in gods. I assure  the “scientists” that I will show them the gods the moment they show me gravitation. More information on gods and invisible phenomena could be found in the articles I write to Vidusara.

Whether Prof. Thattil believes in God, gods, gravitational force (field) or not, as the leader of the Kelaniya team that claimed that Arsenic is the main cause of the CKDu after it was communicated to us by the gods, I wish to emphasize that we never wanted Prof. Thattil or anybody else whether “scientist” or not, to believe that Arsenic is the main cause of the disease on the words of the gods. Chemical analysis were conducted in the University and other laboratories accredited as well, under the leadership of Senior Professor of Chemistry at the University of Kelaniya Prof. Priyani Paranagama who is recognized as one of the ablest Chemists (western of course) in the country, and it was based on these studies we announced that Arsenic is the main cause of the CKDu, the other causes being hard water and the particular soil that could retain the Arsenic. Thus ours was not a uni- variate analysis and I will deal with Statistical Analysis of Prof. Thattil later.

We understand that the Arsenic is the main cause and without Arsenic this particular Kidney Disease would not be spread. This is not a Cadmium based disease, though presence of Cadmium may aggravate it. Cadmium based Kidney Diseases have other symptoms not found in the patients in Rajarata and associated areas. It is also found that hard water carries Arsenic to the Kidneys in the form of Calcium and Magnesium Arsenates to be retained there. Thus hard water is an essential ingredient and we as Sinhala Buddhists guided by Sinhala Buddhist Chinthanaya always look for multiple reasons without attempting to reduce to a single cause. I am sure that the “samyakdrshtika” gods also do not reduce phenomena to a single cause. We are not reductionists as western scientists and western “scientists” in Sri Lanka who in the final analysis reduce everything to a single cause as they are guided by the most well known single cause the God. The Arsenic which is the main cause of CKDu as well as the Kidney Disease in El Salvador and other South American countries comes from Agrochemicals and I propose to name this particular Kidney Disease as Agrochemical Chronic Kidney Disease. (To be continued)            

Nalin De Silva