A world free of Podoconiosis within our lifetime

Podoconosis care in Debra Markos

In November 2011 Dr Fuller visited and worked with a partnership for Podoconosis care in Debra Markos, some 6 hour drive North of Addis. Here she joined with the Community Partnership supported by TOMS Shoes and International Orthodox Christian Charities to work with a podoconiosis self-management initiative run on similar lines to Mossy Foot Treatment and Prevention Association(MFTPA) in Soddo.
A simple research project was started aiming to contribute to the understanding of what causes Podoconiosis and treatments might best be refined to benefit the patients most effectively.
The research collaboration is between the Dermatology department at Bahir Dar University and St Georges Hospital Lymphodema Unit in London. Publication of the work will fur-ther raise awareness of podo amongst the global medical and scientific community.

Debra Ellias—A new Outreach for Podoconiosis Care;
Community Self Help Partnership with IOCC and TOMS Shoes
Some of the 2011 Research Team
Special points of inter-est:

  • Mossy Foot UK continues to support MFTPA in Sodo, Wolaita Zone, Ethiopia
  • Mossy Foot UK is now additionally supporting Action on Podoconiosis in Hosanna, Ethiopia.

Reg No: 1129888
Patients wait peacefully in the warm sun for their treatment.
IOCC Shoemakers in Debra Markos address the all important issue of making shoes to fit the new patients until their feet reduce to a size that can fit into a more conventional shoe such as a trainer
MossyFoot News letter Feb 2012

This picture shows the typical moss changes on the toes of a newly arrived patient. The skin can get very sore be-tween these cracks produced by this thick-ened hard skin which is unable to bend. After a few weeks of regular washing and application of moisturiser as well as wear-ing socks and shoes these skin changes resolve.
Dr John Fergusson, Dr Claire Fuller and Dr Wendemagen and staff of M TOMS shoes project
Dr Wendemagegn, or
“Wendy” to those of us
Brits who can’t pronounce
his name confidently,
is the Consultant
Dermatologist at Bahir
Dar University. He has
been providing expert
medical support for the
Podo patients in Debra
Markos in his spare time.
He has been addressing
some of their more challenging
medical and surgical
issues. There has
been nervousness about
operating on these patients
in the tropics with
fears that they would
not heal or would develop
infections but
Wendy has been having
success in removing
some of the hard nodules
that get in the way
of shoe wearing and progress.
The patients are
thrilled with the outcome.
Introducing Dr Wendemegagen
We are so grateful to all our donors for 2011-12
An example of a foot with dramatic
nodules that makes wearing a shoe
difficult. Shaving off these nodules
allows the patient once the wound has
healed to be able to wear a shoe an
start the rehabilitation work.
On 15th January 2012 Action
on Podoconiosis received their
NGO license and opened for
business officially in Hosanna,
South of Addis Ababa. They
have 1000 patients registered
and about to start treatment
and have already set up rehabilitation
training with a plan to
run 20 girls through hairdressing
and 20 boys through barbering
training. Further more 150 recovering
patients will start a microfinance loan
programme. Dr Fuller met Zelalem
Mathewos in November and was very
impressed with his preparations and
state of readiness. He had learned
about podo management from our
good friend Meskele in Sodo and had a
very good board of trustees in place.
“Action on Podoconiosis” is open for business:
Dr Wendemegagn, Dermatologist
“I had been worried that
surgery would create
longstanding ulcers but
Wendy is proving my
wrong and the patients
are doing well”
Dr Claire Fuller
Page 2 February 2012 Mossy Foot UK
Many thanks to all those who have supported Mossy Foot UK this year. We have been able to extend our
reach to aid newly started up projects in Ethiopia as well as continuing to support the vocational training
schemes helping to restore treated patients to functioning members of society equipping them with new careers
that keep them off the land and enable them to earn their living.
We are keen to seek out and help new projects and have recently been made aware of a further large group of
as yet untreated patients in Dur-Betie near Bahir Dar . Dr Wendemagegn has made contact with them and
started to sensitize the local Ministry of Health workers to get involved. We are very keen on this Government/
NGO/community partnership as a sustainable way forward for caring for these patients on a
large scale.
Watch this space….
Excited patients in Hosanna at their
new clinic
Special thanks to
Dr Paul Matts for permission
to use all his
excel lent photographs.

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