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The flesh eating and bone-destroying disease

Fighting off the Flesh Eater

With mycetoma, all it takes is a prick from a thorny acacia tree to forever change—and often destroy—lives.
The flesh-eating, bone-destroying disease disables thousands in in sub-Saharan Africa and other regions. It often afflicts young farmers—typically family breadwinners—with immense social and economic consequences.
It’s a curse that won’t lift until affected countries step up and prioritize mycetoma surveillance, management and prevention, say Alaa Abusufian E. Dafallah and Parth K. Patel of the International Federation of Medical Students’ Associations.

Although early detection and management of mycetoma can boost prognosis, they argue that far too little has been invested in fighting the disease so far. “The shortcomings reveal a dire need for a global survey to estimate the burden, as well as increased support for mycetoma belt countries trying to adopt national control programs,” they write.
Until it recently made the WHO list of Neglected Tropical Diseases, mycetoma was largely unknown in many parts of the world—prompting Global Health NOW to highlight the devastating disease in its first Untold Global Health Stories Contest in 2015.

Alaa Abusufian E. Dafallah and Parth K. Patel for Global Health NOW

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