Fundación La Isla visitó este mes El Salvador a razón de finalizar el protocolo de un estudio sin precedentes de un proyecto investigativo.

El programa Salud del Trabajador y Eficiencia, un lugar de trabajo para un estudio de intervención mejorará las condiciones laborales para los cortadores de cana de azucar locales, mientras investigan las causas de ERCnT. El programa WE, el primero de este tipo, está diseñado para mejorar de manera activa las condiciones laborales y proveer a los cortadores de caña de azucar con entrenamiento efectivo en orden de aumentar su productividad, reduciendo más que todo su extorsión requeridas para que los cortadores de caña se ganen la vida.

Al implementar los entrenamientos de trabajo basados en las recomendaciones dada por la Seguridad Ocupacional y Salud de los administradores (OSHA) de los Estados Unidos “Agua.Sombra.Descanso”, el programa WE hara que el lugar de trabajo sea mas seguro para los cortadores de cana. Luego los investigadores mediran como las condiciones de laborales mejoradas afectan la salud y productividad de los trabajadores. Mediante el seguimiento de la salud a traves del tiempo, los investigadores esperan recalcar los factores casuales contribuyentes a ERCnT y establecer maneras de mitigar sus efectos. Mediante el seguimiento del aumento de la productividad, los investigadores esperan demostrar incentivos para otros.

By tracking increased worker productivity, researchers hope to demonstrate incentives for other sugar mills to host similar interventions.

Over the course of three years, the WE Program will track 120 sugarcane cutters, or rozadores as they’re known in El Salvador, working in two locations: one in an area several hundred meters above sea level, where CKDu prevalence rates are elevated; and another in the coastal lowlands, where rates are the highest in the country.

Through seven years of hard work and grassroots organizing, LIF has spearheaded the fight to end CKDu. Now, with relevant stakeholders united at the same table to address the CKDu crisis in collaboration, we are proud to share images of the teamwork and success achieved together after over a year of hard work designing the WE Program. [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][mk_image src=”https://laislafoundation.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/2.jpg” image_width=”800″ image_height=”350″ crop=”false” lightbox=”false” frame_style=”simple” target=”_self” caption_location=”inside-image” align=”center” margin_bottom=”10″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text disable_pattern=”true” align=”left” margin_bottom=”0″]

“8 hours in a board room”

LIF Senior Director of Public Health and Policy Ilana Weiss presents at the hosting sugar mill on the first day of the trip.

Mixed among mill management is Australian sugarcane expert Robert Quirk (left).

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“Listen to the people”

LIF CEO and Co-Founder Jason Glaser and a sugarcane caporal discuss OSHA’s “Water. Rest. Shade.” recommendations at the latter’s home.

The caporal is responsible for a team of 300 cane cutters, who are at high risk of developing CKDu.

OSHA’s recommendations, based on U.S. government studies of worker health under extreme working conditions, form the data-driven justification for the working conditions improvements targeted by the designers of the intervention study.

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“Camelbak and cane”

WE Program Field Coordinator Dr. Emmanuel Jarquin (founder of AGDYSA, El Salvador’s first and only occupational health and safety consultant and trainer) assists a worker with the prototype Camelbak water carrying backpack in front of pledged participants in the three-year intervention study.

Such packs are often touted as a potential solution to chronic dehydration, which is a likely cause of CKDu epidemic. Camelbak is now working directly with LIF and the sugar mill hosting this study in order to supply packs to workers.

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“Designing the blade”

LIF Community Coordinator Cristhian Velasquez and LIF Media Producer and Communications Manager Tom Laffay check out machetes currently being distributed for cutting sugarcane at the sugar mill hosting the study. Part of the efficiency program designed by Robert Quirk includes a technique for every worker to curve his or her own machete to better suit their physical stature, decreasing the exertion needed to cut cane.

The result: increased work efficiency, hopefully leading to a significant increase in cane cut per worker, which would allow workers to take more breaks at no loss to their earnings.

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“Maximum capacity”

LIF CEO and Co-Founder Jason Glaser pauses to speak with a hemodialysis patient at Hospital Rosales in San Salvador.

A 43-year-old former cane worker from San Luis Talpa, the man was one of six randomly selected patients interviewed by LIF’s media team.

All six men were former sugarcane workers. All men had CKDu. Eight identical rooms spanned in both directions, each filled to capacity with CKDu patients. During a filmed interview, Dr. Ricardo Leiva, director of the dialysis ward of the largest public hospital in El Salvador, expressed the severity of the situation.

“We have no more room here,” he said. “We are practically turning patients away.”

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