about footwork

Prof. Gail Davey, a medical epidemiologist who has worked on podoconiosis since 2002, is Footwork’s founder. Prof. Davey co-ordinates international research teams investigating disease distribution, genetic and mineral causes, disease pathogenesis, social and economic consequences, clinical and community management, and behavioural interventions to improve prevention. She is advisor to NaPAN, the Ethiopian National Podoconiosis Action Network, and the WHO’s Department of Neglected Tropical Disease Control.

advisory board

Dr. Steven Ault  Senior Advisor, Neglected Tropical Diseases, PAHO/WHO [retired]

Katherine Blakeslee Senior Manager, USAID [retired]

Prof. Gail Davey

Dr. Kebede Deribe Postdoctoral Research Fellow, The Wellcome Trust Brighton & Sussex Centre for Global Health Research

Dr Paul Matts Research Fellow at Procter and Gamble and Founder of APIDO

Dr. Asrat Mengiste Director of NaPAN in Ethiopia

vision, mission, and goals

Our vision is a world free of podoconiosis in our lifetimes.

Our mission is to bring together public and private partners to support prevention and treatment of, and advocacy for, podoconiosis.

Our goals can be grouped in three areas -


  • Increase advocacy for podoconiosis to be included in global health and NTD agendas
  • Raise public awareness of the causes and impact of podoconiosis in affected communities, and of the relative simplicity of disease prevention and treatment
  • Advocate for shoes as ‘the next bednets’ against foot-related conditions* with the ability to prevent disease, reduce morbidity, increase quality of life and economic opportunities.

Research/Data Collection

  • Accelerate collection of scientific data in order to further establish the cause(s) of podoconiosis, most effective treatments and means of preventing the disease
  • Support mapping of podoconiosis distribution in each country whose geology, topography and climate puts it at high risk of disease so that diagnosis, prevention, treatment, and  care/support programs can be rapidly organised and directed to those affected
  • Improve the ability to distinguish between podoconiosis, lymphatic filariasis and other common forms of tropical elephantiasis to ensure that appropriate treatment reaches each patient
  • Develop a network of podoconiosis research institutes in endemic countries
  • Establish a monitoring and evaluation framework for epidemiological, programmatic and health systems data to generate a global picture of podoconiosis from country-specific information.


  • Integrate podoconiosis control into primary health care, water and sanitation (WASH) programs and approaches to eliminate and control other neglected tropical diseases (NTDs)
  • Capture, propagate and continually update best-practice in diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of podoconiosis for use in national guidelines and health professional curricula.


* Including wounds, parasitic worms, tetanus, Madura Foot, jiggers and snakebite

technical committee

Dr. David Addiss (Task Force for Global Health)

Prof. Moses Bockarie (Director, Center for Neglected Tropical Diseases, Liverpool  School of Tropical Medicine)

Prof. Alan Fenwick (Director, Schistosomiasis Control Initiative)

Dr. Leanne Fox (Centers for Disease Control, Atlanta, USA)

Dr. Claire Fuller (International Foundation for Dermatology)

Mark Gruin (Rainforest Trust)

Dr. Rod Hay (International Foundation for Dermatology)

Prof. David Molyneux (Global Alliance for Elimination of Lymphatic Filariasis)

Dr. Mike Mycoskie (TOMS Shoes Health Advisor)

Prof. Melanie Newport  (Brighton & Sussex Medical School)

Dr. Gregory Simon (Management Sciences for Health)

Dr. Shira Shafir (Director of Social Innovation and Impact, TOMS Shoes)

Dr. Fasil Tekola (National Institutes of Health, Maryland, USA)

Prof. Samuel Wanji (University of Buea, Cameroon)


Global Network for Neglected Tropical Diseases (http://www.globalnetwork.org/)

UK Coalition against Neglected Tropical Diseases (http://www.ntd-coalition.org/)

Global Alliance to Eliminate Lymphatic Filariasis (http://www.filariasis.org/))

Schistosomiasis Control Initiative (http://www3.imperial.ac.uk/schisto)

International Orthodox Christian Charities (http://www.iocc.org/)

Mossy Foot UK (http://www.mossyfootuk.com/)

Tropical Health Alliance Foundation (http://www.thaf.org/)

Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, UK (http://www.lstmliverpool.ac.uk/)

Brighton & Sussex Medical School, UK (http://www.bsms.ac.uk/)

University of Buea, Cameroon (http://ubuea.net/)

TOMS Shoes (http://www.toms.com/blog/content/interview-dr-gail-davey-podoconiosis)

Children Without Worms (http://www.childrenwithoutworms.org/)

Legs To Stand On (http://www.legstostandon.org/)


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