Community-based Control of a Neglected Tropical Disease: The Mossy Foot Treatment & Prevention Association

  • Description

Podoconiosis (endemic non-filarial elephantiasis, also known as mossy foot) is a non-communicable disease now found exclusively in the tropics, caused by the conjunction of environmental, genetic, and economic factors. Silicate particles formed by the disintegration of lava in areas of high altitude (over 1,000 m) and seasonal rainfall (over 1,000 mm per annum) penetrate the skin of barefoot subsistence farmers, and in susceptible individuals cause lymphatic blockage and subsequent elephantiasis [1]. Although an estimated one million Ethiopians (of a total population of 77 million) are afflicted with podoconiosis [2], which creates a huge economic burden in endemic areas [3], no national policy has yet been developed to control or prevent the condition, and most affected communities remain unaware of treatment options.

Community-based Control of a Neglected Tropical Disease: The Mossy Foot Treatment & Prevention Association