lunes, 1 de abril de 2019

WHY IS ELEPHANTIASIS A FORGOTTEN AND NEGLECTED DISEASE – Pediatric and Primary Lymphedema - Secondary Lymphaedema - Lymphatic Filariasis and Podoconiosis - Disease of the Lymphatic Vascular System

Neglected diseases like Lymphedema stand in stark contrast to other chronic diseases like diabetes, which receive the life-long drug treatments they need. Severe complications due to lack of access to therapy and compression garments lead to more chances of lymphedema progressing to cellulitis and life-threatening complications, such as lymphangiosarcoma or sepsis.
Across the world, people suffer from neglected diseases, conditions that prevail in many countries lacking good health care services, and medical resources. Diseases like Lymphedema typically do not kill immediately, but instead, they slowly become severe and disabling leading to terrible suffering, creating losses of capital, worker productivity, and economic growth. 

Advanced lymphedema (elephantiasis), is characterized by fibrosis and fatty induration of the tissues, which become much more difficult to reduce than in the early stages, where the swelling is more characteristically due to protein-rich fluid. So to reduce the incidence of "Elephantiasis ", more intervention is required at an earlier stage, much more than is currently indicated by some international organizations. Read more information on why the world is not treating a treatable disease like Lymphedema HERE


With regard to filarial lymphedema (Lymphatic Filariasis), it is very important that at the present moment and by means of drugs, there is a goal and campaign of eliminating filariasis, to prevent the next generations of people from being infected. But there should also be a goal and campaigns for the treatment of the present generations, who are already affected and suffering from the consequent established lymphatic edema. The same happens with lymphedema due to Podoconiosis (lymphatic podoconiosis), which also needs compression treatment and garments in order to control its progression.

Lymphatic edema without treatment or undertreated is more likely to develop very serious or even lethal complications such as erysipelas, adenolymphangitis, dermatolymphangioadenitis - DLA (cellulitis), necrotizing fasciitis, septicemia (sepsis), lymphangiosarcoma, etc. Elephantiasis whatever its cause or setting will never be eradicated from the world, whilst there are still people that don't have access to proper treatment options for lymphedema.


Lymphedema is universally recognized as a neglected and severely debilitating disease, even though it already has effective treatments. In spite of this, many national health systems, even in modern and industrialized countries, allocate little or nothing to treating and preventing Lymphedema, in contrast to the full coverage given to other chronic diseases. 
Primary and Secondary lymphedema collectively affect millions of people across the world, most in the poorest areas of the poorest countries. All lymphedema whatever the cause or setting can drift towards severe deformity, leading to increased disability in men, women, and children of all ages. Furthermore, inflammation and infections in young people lead to absences from school, reduced future quality of life, and labor productivity. 

However, lymphedema can be successfully treated, what’s more, preventing its progression and complications in the first place is completely achievable through increased awareness, and early-stage preventive compression treatment programs. Read more about which country has the best public healthcare coverage of lymphedema HERE.

CLICK TO SEE A VIDEO OF THE BEST NON-SURGICAL TREATMENT OPTION FOR ELEPHANTIASIS (STAGE III-LYMPHOEDEMA):


Without drastic increases in funding and medical, public, and political awareness, the plight of people affected by lymphedema is unlikely to budge anytime soon.
The worst situation for access to treatment is for low-income countries, where national health systems and policies are doing little to nothing about it. Conversely, some global health experts estimate that for every dollar spent on neglected disease control, we get back over $50 in increased productivity. By increasing awareness and funding of treatments for neglected diseases, the world economies will be making one of the best global investments possible. Read more about what are the current management perspective and situation of Lymphatic Filariasis and Podoconiosis HERE.


IMPORTANT NOTICE 

Lymphedema is a serious chronic and progressive disease due to an organic disability. The clinical treatment of lymphedema is neither a cosmetic nor an aesthetic treatment. The treatment of lymphedema is to control its progression and alleviate the symptoms related to dysfunction of the lymphatic circulatory system. To prevent and avoid serious complications associated with treatment, such as the possible displacement of edema to previously unaffected areas when compression therapy is applied for volume reduction, patients should use highly specialized and experienced therapists. 

Professional qualification and instruction delivered remotely online are not the same as live hands-on practical instruction in the clinical training and certification of lymphedema therapists, similar to all other rehabilitation, medical, and surgical training programs, and especially for developing the necessary manual skills to treat a disease as complex as lymphedema. 

Patients should also take special care when choosing a "Multidisciplinary Center of Reference for Lymphedema", as not all countries and centers provide the same treatment options. The best choice is a center of reference that provides “Complete Decongestive Therapy (CDT)”, which is recognized as the “Gold Standard” treatment for lymphedema.

  • Read more about what is the best treatment option for Lymphedema HERE.
  • Read about what are the principal functions of Manual Lymphatic Drainage HERE.
  • Read about what are the main differences between the two principal lymphedema treatment protocols HERE. 
  • Read about what are the strategies for the implementation of low-cost treatment options for Lymphedema HERE.

REFERENCES

(Click on the texts to read the research articles)

SCIENTIFIC SOCIETIES

PATHOPHYSIOLOGY

CUTANEOUS COMPLICATIONS
INFECTIOUS COMPLICATIONS
CELLULITIS / DERMATOLYMPHANGIOADENITIS
TUMOURS

TREATMENT

COMPRESSION GARMENTS

DISABILITY

DISFIGUREMENT

PSYCHOSOCIAL IMPACT

PEDIATRIC LYMPHEDEMA

LYMPHATIC FILARIASIS / PODOCONIOSIS










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












LYMPHEDEMA INCIDENCE 
AND PREVALENCE
(click on the texts) 


















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