International: Mycetoma expert seeks partnership with Brazilians

Publicação: 12 de November de 2014

The institution which is reference fighting the disease wants to develop new cooperative researches and worldwide database about the matter

Attention towards the disease is scarce by physicians, health systems and the society. There are no prevention or control programs, as well as accurate data about the incidence and prevalence

Dr. Ahmed Fahal said it is important to collect data on mycetoma in Brazil to be included it in a scientific article to be presented to the WHO to issue a resolution on mycetoma

Among the “neglected” diseases in the world – a group of endemic diseases that strike mainly the tropical countries, mycetoma is one of the least known. Worldwide, the attention towards the disease is scarce by physicians, health systems and the society. Since its notification is not obligatory, there are no prevention or control programs, or even accurate data about the incidence or prevalence. For this reason, experts of an important institution are seeking support to draw international attention to the theme.

The disease is a chronic mycosis, which begins under the skin and evolves until reaching the bone tissue. It causes the swelling of the affected place – usually the foot – and pus, which can be caused by fungus (known as eumycetoma) or bacteria (referred to as actinomycetoma). Even being a problem that could affect anyone, mostly it strikes the poorest people. Usually, they are people aging between 20 and 40 years, who walk barefoot and live in rural areas, and especially males.

The disease’s causing organisms can be found in the whole world, however, are most endemic in South American countries and other nations as Saudi Arabia, India, Senegal, Mauritania, Somalia, Yemen and Sudan. This last, where a 1/5 of the population lives below the poverty line, hosts one of the main references in the matter in the world, the Mycetoma Research Center (MRC).

Located in the Cartum University, the center attends, in average, 200 people every week for free – even conducting some surgical procedures. There are 7 thousand registered patients (including patients from other countries) and regularly visited. The drugs are given at no cost, thanks to supports as the Doctors Without Borders (MSF) and pharmaceutical companies from the country. According to one of the institution’s representative, Dr. Ahmed Fahal , the treatment of patients with actinomycetoma has a high success rate, but not satisfactory for eumycetoma.

Among the MRC’s objectives, created in 1991, is the development of researches and creation of an international database about the disease, starting from local and international partnerships. The institution expects, inclusive to have support from Brazilian researchers, according to Dr. Fahal. “It is important to collect data on mycetoma in Brazil to be included it in a scientific article to be presented to the WHO to issue a resolution on mycetoma”, explains. The Sudanese institution has elaborated several diagnostic tools for the disease, besides conducting researches in cooperation with respected international institutions from countries as the Netherlands, United Kingdom, Switzerland, Serbia and Mexico.

The MRC counts with a structure composed, among others, by seven service rooms, two laboratories (being one molecular, and the other, for microbiology), a library and meeting room. To develop activities that help fighting the disease, the center also has four committees: a clinical, a research, a continuous education and professional development, as well as one that attends specifically the local communities.

If you have any interest supporting the initiative, contact the MCR through the following e-mail address: info@mycetoma.edu.sd.