Imagine your legs, ankles, and feet being so swollen that it causes your lower extremities to become heavier than usual.
Now, imagine being a farmer who has to walk each day with enlarged lower extremities.
You can’t imagine it, can you?
Unfortunately, this situation is the reality for millions of people throughout Ethiopia who are affected with podoconiosis or podo for short.
Podo, a neglected tropical disease caused by long exposure of bare feet to silicate-rich soil, affects more than 1 million people in Ethiopia.
As podo progresses throughout ones body, lower extremities become more and more swollen, causing an itchy and burning sensation.
While not contagious, podo comes with a severe social stigma. Affected individuals are typically barred from attending school, ostracised from social and religious events, and have difficulty finding marriage.
Podo not only can be prevented by wearing shoes and socks but with inexpensive treatments including compression bandages and daily washing with soap, we can eliminate podo.
YOUR GIFTS AT WORK (2010-2017)
healthcare workers trained in podo prevention and treatment methds.
people with podoconiosis treated and educated on podo prevention and treatment methods.
children given shoes and foot hygiene education to combat podo.