A world free of Podoconiosis within our lifetime

Who gets Mossy Foot

Who gets it?

Podoconiosis affects those spending a lot of time barefoot, in contact with silicate rich soil, fertile volcanic soils. Typically this includes barefoot agricultural workers who cannot afford or choose not to wear shoes.

To develop podo, requires a genetic factor predisposing to podo and chronic daily exposure to silicate rich soil. Today, podoconiosis affects about 10% of the population in highland tropical areas with volcanic soils and lots of rainfall.
We think in the past Mossy Foot was much more widespread around the world. In fact there is an image of a Mossy Foot sufferer in the medieval Mappa Mundi displayed in Hereford Cathedral.

The reason that podoconiosis no longer occurs in Europe is that most people now wears shoes and the majority of farming has been mechanised. There is also a genetic factor which means that some are at greater risk than others.