Community engagement raises awareness of renal disease in Guatemalaiclaron
Angie Aguilar-Gonzalez, an ISN-H4KH new investigator, focused her research on an area in Guatemala with high incidences of renal disease of unknown cause.
Given the high variability of fluid intake across the globe and the health consequences of these variations, she chose to measure hydration patterns and renal function markers in a group of children and adolescents.
Recognizing that community engagement plays an important role in the success of research studies, Angie drew data for this sample through engagement with the local community. She was able to build collaborative relationships with regional stakeholders and health practitioners.
The project raised awareness of kidney health in the region. So far, 36 children are enrolled in the study and 400 people participated in the first “kidney walk” organized in Guatemala. Locals visited the health center asking how to evaluate their kidneys and prevent damage. Doctors responded by requesting information to improve diagnosis and treatment.
Angie acknowledged that the research project provided “a huge opportunity to grow professionally and to make a change in Guatemala”. She’s confident that it’s an important step towards the creation of Guatemala’s own renal research centre in the future.
ISN’s H4KH initiative is supported by Danone Nutricia Research to stimulate the interest of established and new researchers to explore the role of hydration in kidney health.
Find out more here: https://www.theisn.org/H4KH