Grant TypePost PhD Research Grant
Institutional AffiliationEdinburgh, U. of
Grant numberGr. 9350
Approve DateOctober 5, 2016
Project TitleNading, Dr. Alexander M., U. of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK - To aid research on 'Non-Traditional Causes: An Ethnography of Global Health and Social Justice in Nicaragua's Chronic Kidney Disease Epidemic'
ALEXANDER M. NADING, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, United Kingdom, received funding in October 2016 to aid research on ‘Non-Traditional Causes: An Ethnography of Global Health and Social Justice in Nicaragua’s Chronic Kidney Disease Epidemic.’ In Central America, thousands of people’most of them former sugarcane plantation workers’die each year of a disease that did not exist before the year 2000. ‘Chronic kidney disease of non-traditional causes’ (CKDnt) did not reach the world’s attention via mortality statistics. Instead, it became visible through a series of legal claims and public protests by Nicaraguan activists who blamed environmental changes wrought by plantation agriculture for the onset of the epidemic. Preliminary studies link CKDnt to rises in mean average annual temperatures, increased water scarcity, and the overuse of toxic agrochemicals. CKDnt is thus one of the first new pathologies to result from human-induced climate change. This ethnographic research followed Nicaraguan CKDnt activists as they retooled traditional forms of Latin American rural mobilization to address the newly entwined challenges of global health and climate change. Tracing both linkages and disconnects between activism and transnational environmental health science, the project revealed how climate-related disease forces patients and practitioners to question narrow technical promises of cure. Instead, such diseases engender a more expansive set of efforts geared toward ‘life support,’ a form of care that is aimed simultaneously at both landscapes and human bodies.