viernes, 17 de enero de 2020

WORLD NEGLECTED DISEASES DAY - January 30 – Lymphostatic Elephantiasis - Lymphatic Filariasis & Podoconiosis - Pediatric & Primary Lymphoedema - Secondary Lymphoedema - Rare Disease - Awareness Day Campaign

ELEPHANTIASIS

January 30 is recognized worldwide, as the day to highlight the Neglected Diseases. Some severe and neglected diseases are not only located in poor or developing countries, but also can be found in European and high-tech western nations, as is the case of Lymphostatic Elephantiasis. The medical term elephantiasis is used to identify a part of the body, which has undergone progressive deformity and trophic skin changes as a result of chronic lymphedema. Throughout the world, the lack of treatment or under-treatment of lymphedema, makes elephantiasis a condition that is still present today.

Elephantiasis is one of the worlds most disfiguring, disabling and life threatening conditions. Worldwide millions of people suffer from lymphatic dysfunction, be it due to Primary Lymphoedema or Secondary Lymphoedema due to filariasis, podoconiosis, chronic venous insufficiency, cancer, trauma, radiation, infection, surgery, etc. Elephantiasis (final Stage III lymphoedema) can be found in all countries and settings, and is nearly always the result of non treatment or undertreatment of an incipient lymphatic edema. Read about why the world is not treating a treatable disease like elephantiasis here.


Lymphedema (elephantiasis) is not a rare disease but a major public health problem, and it is necessary to sensitize governments and international health organizations, that access to treatment for lymphedema and lymphatic diseases should be a global priority . Up to 10 million Americans may be affected by lymphoedema, and its estimated that over 250 million people worldwide suffer the disease, creating pain, swelling, discomfort, disability and suffering for patients of all ages, including children. The only way to avoid elephantiasis (final stage III lymphedema) is to provide early and preventive therapy and compression garments necessary for lymphatic disorders. 

Elephantiasis in preventable in the majority of cases, if the underlying cause which is lymphoedema, if treated in its initial mild stages. In the case of Lymphatic filariasis (LF) it is recognized that in many cases it is first acquired in childhood, often as many as one-third of children are infected before age 5. This fact needs urgent implications by international health organizations and public health systems, for prevention campaigns and management for this childhood illness. The corner stone for the PREVENTION of elephantiasis, is compression treatment of initial mild stage I lymphedema, as well as to reduce the incidence of dermato-lymphangio-adenitis (infectious cellulitis) and Lymphangitis, which are the cause of the subsecuent worsening of the condition. Read more about DLA (Dermatolymphangioadenitis) in lymphedema here.


There is a safe and effective treatment for lymphostatic oedema, which helps to retain and maintain the progression of the disease towards its severe late stages. The best treatment for lymphoedema is CDT (Complete Decongestive Therapy), it is considered “Gold Standard” conservative treatment for the reduction of limb volume. This specialized treatment consists of MLD (Manual Lymphatic Drainage) and Multi-layered bandage wrapping conducted by specialized physiotherapists, as well as other components such as skin care, diet, and excercises. Read more about best treatment for elephantiasis here.

The Conservative Treatment is indicated for all oedema stages including stage III, and as preventive treatment which will avoid the initial progression towards elephantiasis. Radical reductive ablative surgery, aimed to remove the diseased skin and subcutaneous tissue, should always be the last option, for it is associated with significant blood loss, morbidity, infections, permanent disfigurement and recurrence of symptoms. 


Apart from the patient daily basic self-care needed, consisting in washing of limbs and skin moisturising, there is also the need to wear compression garments throughout the day. Without compression devices, it is impossible to retain the progression of lymphatic oedema. Compression garments are the only means by which a person can carry out their daily activities. Basic self care alone without compression is not enough by itself to control the disease, and will not stop the progression towards elephantiasis. Read more about best treatment for lymphatic oedema here.

International awareness campaigns are needed for access to compression therapy and garments for patients diagnosed with chronic lymphoedema, many of them children, since this is the only possible way to stop the progression of the disease. Elephantiasis is a treatable condition, but it will never be eradicated from the world and will continue to be a severe public health problema, as long as there is non-treatment or under-treatment of lymphatic dysfunction (Lymphedema).


REFERENCES










  • WHAT KIND OF DOCTOR TREATS LYMPHEDEMA/LYMPHOEDEMA - WHICH MEDICAL SPECIALITIES ARE RELATED TO LYMPHEDEMA















LYHMPHEDEMA INCIDENCE 
AND PREVALENCE
(click on the texts) 








CAMPAIGN
 


For global awareness it is being asked that the 
WHO - WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION
name: 
"LYMPHEDEMA - AWARENESS & CURES"
as the World Health Day campaign 

  

  KATHY BATES
LYMPHEDEMA EMBASSADOR


SIGN THE PETITION HERE







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