Welcome to Footwork, the International Podoconiosis Initiative. Footwork brings together public and private partners to support prevention and treatment of podoconiosis. Footwork encourages integration of podoconiosis control into efforts to eliminate other Neglected Tropical Diseases, and works with those active in other related diseases of the foot.
Our shared goal is to eliminate podoconiosis within our lifetimes.
To access the user forum and specialist content for implementers, please register via ‘Community Access’.
New Executive Director of Footwork appointed:
We are delighted to announce the appointment of Wendy Santis to the position of Executive Director of Footwork. Wendy has an exceptional global public health background, having managed health and education programs in Latin America, Africa and Asia. She has an M.S. in Health Policy and Management from the Harvard School of Public Health, brings vital new business development and fundraising skills, and has a wealth of experience with major potential partners including USAID, WHO, PAHO, and the World Bank. Wendy will lead Footwork from Silver Spring, MD and will meet with key stakeholders in Ethiopia, Cameroon, the UK and the US over the next three months.
Wendy says: “I am inspired by Footwork’s commitment to eliminating podoconiosis within our lifetimes and look forward to accelerating the progress of public and private partners to deliver sound, scalable and efficient approaches to reducing the prevalence and impact of the disease.”
Prof Samuel Wanji and Prof Emmanuel Suh are busy with two projects related to podoconiosis aetiology.
Kebede Deribe interviewed about his research, podoconiosis, and the role of mapping in disease control. Listen here: https://soundcloud.com/lshtm/mapping-ntds-in-ethopia
Read more on the blog...http://blog.wellcome.ac.uk/2014/01/22/the-medical-importance-of-shoes/
what is podoconiosis?
Podoconiosis (or simply ‘podo’) is a form of elephantiasis or swelling of the lower leg triggered by prolonged exposure to irritant minerals in red clay soils. There is no infectious or contagious agent: no parasite, no bacterium, no virus is involved. It was classified as a Neglected Tropical Disease by the World Health Organization in 2011.
An estimated 4 million people in highland tropical Africa are affected with podoconiosis, and evidence suggests widespread endemicity in more than 15 countries throughout the world.
Although the disease is both preventable (by avoiding contact with irritant soil) and treatable (through simple, inexpensive foot hygiene and protection), there are as yet no government-backed assistance programs for addressing prevention and treatment of podoconiosis.
Individuals afflicted with podoconiosis suffer debilitating physical effects, including attacks when the leg becomes warm, painful and even more swollen, and are ostracised from their communities because of misconceptions about the cause of podoconiosis.
where is it found?
Podoconiosis has been described in at least 15 countries in the tropics in Africa, central America and Asia. These countries share a volcanic history, and the disease is primarily found in remote rural areas where subsistence farmers typically work in the fields barefoot. In Africa, podoconiosis has been documented in Ethiopia, Cameroon, Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya, Sudan, and the islands of Cape Verde, Bioko, Sao Tome & Principe. Footwork is eager to find partners who will help us validate and document podoconiosis in central America and Asia.