La Isla Network is dedicated to ending chronic kidney disease of undetermined causes (CKDu) among workers and their communities worldwide.

Click to watch a video about the global impact of CKDu

CKDu Defined

Chronic Kidney Disease of undetermined causes (CKDu) is a fatal progressive loss of kidney function that has killed more than 40,000 people in Mesoamerica and Sri Lanka alone in the last 10 years. Treatment is out of reach for most ensuring an early death for those affected. CKDu is likely affecting millions throughout the tropics and beyond. We need your help to understand, prevent and treat this disease. Learn more about CKDu.


La Isla Network

La Isla Network takes its name from the community where we first encountered the CKDu epidemic in Nicaragua, “La Isla De Viudas” (“The Island of Widows“), a place so devastated by CKDu it is defined by those left behind. CKDu is a global challenge affecting the most vulnerable populations. Our network of researchers, communicators and investigators is committed to addressing it.

Together we are generating, supporting, and executing evidence-driven solutions to end the fatal CKDu epidemic by understanding the scale and impact of the disease and its causes. In the process, we are improving working conditions and supporting the creation and enforcement of policies required to protect those affected.

We are achieving this via:


Identifying who are affected and where via the DEGREE Initiative. This initiative facilitates prevalence studies to identify and compare CKDu occurrence worldwide and is also helping to build the map to understand what regions, economic sectors and populations are impacted.


Intervening using the precautionary principle. Today we are working with the sugar industry to improve work practices to protect health, while also maintaining efficiency via the WE Program and the Adelante Initiative.


Researching the underlying causes by supporting our colleagues in conducting, managing and raising funds for research initiatives with researchers from leading institutions like London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Lund University, Stanford University and others.


Communicating to the general public and important actors in supply chains while pushing for data driven policy on the public and private level. We make sure no one forgets the stories of those affected via award winning original content and coordination with leading journalists. Meet the communicators dedicated to La Isla Network’s mission here.


LIN press, newsletters and more…


Video footage of the worldwide CKDu epidemic.

Photo Stories

Photo essays about the CKDu epidemic

DEGREE Initiative

Global CKDu prevalence study

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