sábado, 15 de enero de 2022

WORLD NEGLECTED TROPICAL DISEASE DAY - Lymphostatic Elephantiasis – Lymphatic Filariasis - Podoconiosis – Lymphatic Vascular Disease – Secondary Lymphedema

The existence of International Days is to raise public awareness on issues of concern, so as to mobilize political will and resources to address problems, the specific problems that need urgent attention. Today January 30, people all over the world join to raise awareness regarding neglected diseases and call on health systems to invest in proper, effective, and safe treatment options for all, and to leave no one behind.

The slogan “LEAVE NO ONE BEHIND” regarding health issues related to Lymphedema, means that Health Systems must invest in proper, effective, and safe health care for all, whatever their cause or setting. The United Nations General Assembly endorsed a resolution On 12 December 2012, urging countries to aim towards the goal that everyone, everywhere, should have access to quality health care, and proclaimed 12 December as Universal Health Coverage Day (UHC Day) by resolution 72/138. Millions of people all over the world with Lymphedema are still waiting for proper and effective health care, and many of them are already in severe stages.

With regard to Elephantiasis, also known as late Stage III Lymphedema, can be due to Pediatric and Primary Lymphedema, or Secondary Lymphedema related to surgical interventions, chronic venous insufficiency, trauma, filariasis, podoconiosis, etc. The global situation regarding elephantiasis (Lymphedema Stage III) is far from new—and the reality for millions of people is that of suffering neglect regarding their human rights to access proper effective treatmentSome lymphedema and health organizations are trying to redress the magnitude of the problem by developing cheap treatment options that do not include Compression Garments, even though these are essential for the treatment of Lymphatic Vascular Disease. Read more information on what country has the best treatment for lymphedema HERE.

Lymphedema Stage III (elephantiasis) in the majority of cases is the result of no treatment or undertreatment of lymphatic edema. Failure to treat and control the initial swelling leads later to recurrent dermatolymphangioadenitis (infectious cellulitis - DLA), progressive skin changes, external physical differences (deformity/disfigurement), and disability. Permanent swelling also affects people's lives in many other ways, such as the fitting of clothing and footwear, impaired mobility, or even sexual function. The damage is not only physical but can also lead to serious economic, social, and interpersonal consequences. Due to a combination of factors such as under-treatment, disability, and external stigma, people with severe Lymphedema may lose their jobs, be rejected from their communities, or have difficulty starting or maintaining social relationships. The discrimination and isolation resulting from these factors can, in turn, lead to negative psychological and psychosocial outcomes. Read more information about psychological aspects surrounding non-treatment of lymphedema HERE.

Elephantiasis (Lymphedema Stage III) can be prevented and treated in the majority of cases with Complete Decongestive Therapy (CDT), which helps reduce the edema and stop the progression of the disease. Treating the underlying condition (Lymphedema) in its early stages, with proper and effective compression therapy, prevents the progression of the disease towards its severe late stage called elephantiasis. Wearable compression garments are the most effective daily treatment and are considered the cornerstone of Lymphedema management. Even though it may seem otherwise, stage elephantiasis is not something rare that can only be found in poor or underdeveloped countries but can also be found in high-tech wealthy nations. Scientific studies highlight the importance and implications of compression therapy in controlling the progression of Lymphoedema. 

Health systems must be equitable, resilient, and capable of meeting people's needs, and everyone, everywhere, deserves access to quality health services. World Neglected Disease Day is observed annually on January 30 with the aim of ensuring people around the world can get the quality health services they need.


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.


(Click on the texts to read the research articles)











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(世界顧みられない病デー/ Journée mondiale des maladies négligées / Welttag der vernachlässigten Krankheiten / 世界被忽疾病日 / 세계 소외 질병의 날 / Verdens dag for oversete sygdomme / Maailman laiminlyötyjen sairauksien päivä / Hari penyakit terabaikan sedunia / Alþjóðlegur dagur vanræktar sjúkdóma / Giornata mondiale delle malattie trascurate / Wereld verwaarloosde ziekten dag / Verdens dag for forsømte sykdommer / Världsdagen för försummade sjukdomar / światowy dzień chorób zaniedbanych / Dia mundial das doenças negligenciadas / Día mundial de la enfermedades desatendidas / World neglected diseases day / Всемирный день забытых болезней / Ngày thế giới bị bỏ mặc bệnh tật / วันโรคละเลยโลก / Hari penyakit terabai sedunia)

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