None of these schemes would have been possible without the work and dedication of a large number of individuals, who often work voluntarily; the Foundation’s role has been to initiate, where appropriate, support, advise and help in ways that suit each programme.
The Dermlink programme provides funds annually to support the dermatology training initiatives or small field projects in areas of need. Calls for applications are circulated to dermatological societies and usually no more than three proposals are funded each year and This work includes support for other initiatives such as training in community dermatology (India, African Clinical Officers,Mongolia) and needs assessment for skin care (North India) through Dermlink.
Médecins sans Frontieres (MSF)
This project provides a link with MSF so that medical volunteers in remote areas can seek advice and support for the care of patients with skin problems using a system established through the University of Zurich. In the last year 12 consultations were sent by volunteers.
Global Alliance for the Elimination of Lymphatic Filariasis
The IFD is a partner organisation in GAELF through using interventions to improve the care of patients with existing lymphoedema through nursing care, disinfection, cleaning and exercise.
A further programme is a new collaboration with individuals and groups in Australia, France and the USA to form a new International Alliance for the Control of Scabies ( IACS ) to investigate the potential for control of scabies in areas where it is endemic and very common. Scabies in such areas is associated with severe complications, due to secondary bacterial infection, including nephritis and rheumatic fever as well as infant septicaemia. At present the partnership is investigating the potential for effective interventions and and developing guidelines. The first meeting of IACS has been timed for November 2012.
HIV and WHO
We have also embarked on joint work with WHO on a diagnostic scheme for skin disease aimed at health care workers working on HIV/AIDS programmes. This is a collaboration between the IFD and WHO. Much of the developmental and assessment work has been carried out by Toby Maurer. The first algorithms have been produced and are currently being assessed in Africa. The second phase will be a systematic review of treatment .