World Need Focus - Leprosy Ulcer Prevention
Practitioner: Keith Aitken, Podiatrist from New Zealand
Patients: Served people at a hospital in Niger Africa who work solely with people effected by leprosy
When Keith Aitken, Podiatrist contact us to ask for our support with his trip to Niger we were curious and intrigued. Keith was going to be working with leprosy patients and as we had never encountered patients with leprosy, we had never thought of his application for Formthotics™
We were impressed by Keith’s altruism and willingness to help others so proved him with some product to take to Niger.
In Keith’s words…
“These are pictures of one of the Leprosy patients that had a typical Leprosy Ulcer. He had the ulcer for an estimated 2-3 years, His feet were quite numb clinically. He could not feel any vibration below the knees and was insensitive to 75gm monofilaments.
I debrided the ulcer quite extensively and he couldn't feel a thing. He had good foot pulses so I knew that if we could get the pressure of the ulcer it would probably heal. I had the ulcer dressed and changed every 2-3 days with the patient living in the Hospital grounds in a millet hut.
The patients all use these types of sandals all year round. I heat fitted the Formthotics™ to his sandal. He was very grateful for all the treatment. Within 1 week the ulcer was granulating nicely from the base and getting smaller. I was there for about another 2 weeks after the fitting of this Formthotics™ and apart from some further debriding and dressings no other treatment was used. After I returned to NZ the Doctor looking after this patient emailed me and said that the patient's ulcer had healed. They were very excited.
There were other leprosy patients with other ulcers that had Formthotics™ fitted and they have all done well. The whole hospital is dedicated to Leprosy. 90% of the patients had foot ulcers. Some had previous amputations. Some had infections that were not able to be resolved with the antibiotics that were available. These needed deep debridement and probing along facial planes to eradicate the infection, all done without x-ray or scanning equipment.
I also heat fitted Formthotics™ to a child that had cerebral palsy. The Formthotics™ helped him to improve his gait using a type of walker that they make over there”.
Keith is home now, please to be away from water shortages, high security and the constant underlying fear for your life. However, there is a lot more work to be done and he is planning a return trip. If you are interested in getting involved with Keith and his work please contact him directly.