WP8: Establishment of Podoconiosis treatment centers.
This task seeks to establish a center to train people in the management, treatment and prevention of podoconiosis through international training workshops, strengthen podoconiosis prevention through distribution of shoes to children, and conduct podoconiosis control-driven research activities in the rural settings of the North-West region of Cameroon. The management of non-filarial lymphedema (podoconiosis) has been neglected. Model podoconiosis control programmes, such as the Mossy Foot Association that was established in 1998 in Ethiopia are lacking in Cameroon where recent mapping found podoconiosis in the entire North West region. The International Podoconiosis Initiative has recently expressed the necessity to establish a centre for morbidity management and prevention of disability due to Podoconiosis in the North West region of Cameroon, hence the need for this task. It is also important to note that, to date no study has been carried out to determine the podoconiosis-specific microbiome that may play a key role in the morbidity of this disease. It is therefore proposed in this task that aside tracking and managing podoconiosis in patients with support of the mobile phone-based text messaging system described in an earlier task, the microbiome of podoconiosis patients will also be characterized and its implication in the progression and severity of the disease elucidated. This task will be led by Prof. Samuel Wanji.