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The African Dermatology Training Fund
May 1, 2018 12:00 AM - June 30, 2021 12:00 AM

The continent of Africa has 15% of the world’s population, but 25% of the world’s disease burden.  

 

Many of these diseases affect the skin and are due to infections associated with poverty, overcrowding and malnutrition.

 

The estimates of the frequency of skin diseases in developing countries range between 21% and 87% of the population.

 

Bacterial skin infections, producing weeping sores on the skin (pyoderma), scabies mite infestation giving generalised itch and tinea fungus infection of the scalp resulting in bald patches and itch, affects up to a half of children living in Africa.

75% of the world’s population with HIV/AIDS live in sub-Saharan Africa.  These patients often present with a skin condition, and most of them will have a skin problem during the course of their illness and treatment.

Specialists in treating skin diseases (dermatologists) are rare in Africa; consequently the diagnosis and management of these problems is grossly inadequate.

 

Help Us

We need your support to help fund equipment, textbooks and medicines, as well as the training and tuition of local doctors in Africa.

 

Doctors trained in diagnosing and treating diseases of the skin, dermatologists, are scarce in Africa. Specialist expertise is important in addressing these problems in local communities and whole countries.   Few training programs for dermatologists exist outside of South Africa and Egypt.

Your support would be given to help train these doctors in Uganda and Ethiopia.

 

Uganda

 
Ugandan village 
 

Uganda, a country in the middle of the African continent, has a rapidly growing population of over 35 million people.  

 

The majority live in rural areas with limited access to medical facilities.  There are currently less than 10 trained dermatologists serving this population (Australia by contrast has over 500 dermatologists for 26 million people).

 

Since 2000, there has been a training program for new dermatologists in Mbarara at the University for Science and Technology in the South West of the country.  This program was initiated by a resident German dermatologist, Professor Gerold Jager. 

 

Skin Clinic at University for Science & Technology, Mbarara

The trainees need to pay a fee to the University for their education and work in the clinic unpaid.  The tuition fees and living expenses, which amount to about $5,000 AUD per annum, are beyond most local medical graduates.  

 

Some trainees from neighbouring countries, such as Kenya, Rwanda, and Somalia, are sponsored by their governments.  

 

 

Visiting unpaid volunteers from Europe, America and Australia contribute to the teaching of these trainees, as well as donating some of the textbooks and equipment required.

Starting in 2003, Health Volunteers Overseas, an organisation based in Washington USA, has sent volunteer dermatologists to teach in the dermatology program in Mbarra, Uganda.  

 

Since 2010, a member of the Skin & Cancer Foundation Inc, Dr Tim O’Brien from Geelong has been the Dermatology Program Director for HVO in Uganda, visiting the country each year. Over this time 14 dermatologists from East Africa have been trained through this program.

 

Ethiopia

 LeishmaniasisScars from previous Leishmaniasis 

 

Ethiopia, a country in the North West of Africa, has a population of 100 million people with 70 dermatologists.  Most of the population is poor and lives in rural areas.  

 

Two unique skin diseases of Ethiopia are leishmaniasis and podoconiosis.  Both are disfiguring and affect the livelihood of agricultural workers.  

Leishmaniasis is a parasite carried from animals to humans by sand flies.  Initially it produces a sore or ulcer on the skin, which may last for months and leaves a scar.  In some cases it invades the mouth and nasal passages, producing localised destruction.  Leishmaniasis is not easily treated.  Patients need to be hospitalised and given drugs daily by injection for weeks.  Drugs for more advanced forms (pentamidine) are not readily available as there is only a limited supply brought in by visiting volunteers.  

Podoconiosis, a disease first described in Ethiopia, is due to silica-like minerals from the soil penetrating bare footed skin or rural workers.  The effects are devastating, with gross swelling of the foot and whole leg.

 

Social life and work are severely compromised.  The accompanying schematic illustrates this condition and its treatment.

Ten dermatologists work in rural areas of Ethiopia.  A new training program has been established in Mekelle, Tigray, in Northern Ethiopia.  Once again, volunteers have been involved in teaching and supplying equipment, drugs and textbooks.

 

Help

 
 School Children with ringworm of scalp
 

Our campaign is to help raise funds to
• fund the purchase of equipment, medicines and textbooks
• offset training & tuition fees

You can make a tax deductible contribution to the African Training Fund by donating to this campaign now.

 

Specialist expertise is important in addressing these problems in local communities and whole countries.  Doctors trained in diagnosing and treating diseases of the skin, dermatologists, are scarce in Africa.  Few training programs for dermatologists exist outside of South Africa and Egypt.

Your support would be given to help train these doctors in Uganda and Ethiopia.

 

Thank you.



 

Anonymous
(8 days ago)
$100
Anonymous
(50 days ago)
$3,240
Anonymous
(58 days ago)
$200
Anonymous
(77 days ago)
$100
Peter Monaghan
(131 days ago)
I'd like to kick off your campaign, Tim. Hope it exceds expectations!
$20
Category: Fundraising
Tags: africa, ethiopa, skin diseases, training, tuition, uganda,
$3,660
raised of $50,000 goal
1014 days left
10 donations