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The history of podoconiosis is better described in Ethiopia than anywhere else in the world. In the 1950s, Dr. A.P. Oomen identified elephantiasis in the absence of filarial or onchocercerial infection, but it was not until Dr. Ernest Price's elegant investigations through the 1970s and 1980s that the epidemiology, ecology, pathology and natural history of the disease were clarified and the condition became named 'podoconiosis', from the Greek words for 'foot' and 'dust'.

Ethiopia is thought to be the location of the first dedicated projects to treat podoconiosis. Sisters of the Nekemte and Wollega Dioceses of the Catholic Church began treating patients attending clinics in Konchi and Nekemte (Western Ethiopia) in the 1970s, while Dr. Nathan Barlow and colleagues at Soddo Otona Hospital founded the Mossy Foot Project in 1998.


The key organisations providing podoconiosis care and prevention are (alphabetical order):

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