Mossy foot

TH&H are pleased to support The Mossy Foot Treatment and Prevention Association (MFA). See the video below for an introduction, or click here or visit their website for full details of the Association’s work.


Ethiopia based TH&H member Dr Gail Davey works closely with the MFA a non government organisation which is based 400k south of Addis Ababa in an area where there is a lot of podoconiosis (aka Mossy Foot, or non-infectious elephantiasis). Many subsistence farmers are exposed to irritant red clay soil, tiny particles of which are absorbed through the skin and cause inflammation and then clogging of the lymphatic vessels and eventually large, ugly, smelly lower legs. The condition is completely preventable by wearing shoes – but few of these farmers can afford them. The MFA has contact with nearly 50,000 patients and ex-patients in southern Ethiopia, and has the infrastructure to get shoes where they are needed.

Mossy Foot is an entirely preventable and non-infectious disease. It can be avoided by the regular use of leather footwear – which is unfortunately an unaffordable luxury for many of those in the affected areas.

  • 90 Birr (approx £5) will provide shoes and a year’s supply of socks for a child;
  • 900 Birr (approx £40) will train a patient to make shoes and provide a tool kit and leather to enable them to start shoe production; and
  • 204,255 Birr (approx £10,000) provides vocational skills training for 165 patients over the course of a year.

TH&H members collected a supply of nearly new trainers and shoes to take to Addis on a recent trip. TH&H members and other local runners also raised funds at the Christmas running of the popular weekly Wimbledon Common Time Trial.

If you would like to donate to the Mossy Foot Treatment and Prevention Association (perhaps a self assessment “trainer tax” of £5 per each new pair of trainers you buy in a year) you can do so here: If you are travelling to Addis and would be able to deliver a small collection of training shoes, or if you would be interested in helping in any other way please contact TH&H member Kate Symons at

Marathon world record record holder Haile Gebrselassie taking receipt of a particularly small pair of trainers donated from TH&H
Proud recipients of the consignment of shoes