Today, tropical dermatology must both eradicate serious illnesses and support populations suffering from pathologies that are common, but stigmatising. Fondation Pierre Fabre is providing support for this evolution.

With an average prevalence rate of 30%, skin diseases are a serious concern in the South. Other than the most critical afflictions, such as leprosy, most are benign. But they still can lead to severe complications: in children, for example, impetigo can lead to kidney failure. And all skin diseases are stigmatising, as they are visible and often contagious. These ailments, the leading reasons behind medical consultations, are often treated in peripheral centres that suffer from a severe lack of specialists and personnel little-trained in non-priority diseases. This situation is of great concern, especially as the populations have a genuine need.

Fondation Pierre Fabre believes it is time to take action. First, because, in the 21st century, we can no longer tolerate the continued existence of devastating and often preventable diseases such as noma, a gangrenous stomatitis that afflicts the most vulnerable children. Second, because the national and international authorities are not working enough to fight some of the most common diseases that are of significant magnitude but only relative gravity. Yet, the simplicity and low cost of treating these skin diseases make them easy to treat.

The Foundation is therefore focusing its efforts on two areas: further elimination of the most worrying tropical endemic diseases and helping as many people as possible who are suffering from more benign ailments. Its programmes are particularly centred on medical staff training. A powerful lever for long-term results.