Open Way provides funds that enable poor people gain access to medical assistance by paying for medical costs, transport to clinics or hospitals, and accommodation while waiting for treatment. People with a very wide variety of medical conditions such as cancer, cataracts and other eye problems, goitre, typhus, typhoid fever, complications from HIV, scabies, malnutrition, leprosy, TB and many other ailments, as well as accidents and emergencies, have been helped. We have also funded a small clinic to treat people with mossy foot (podoconiosis).
Some patients helped by Open Way
Chenche was found in a critical condition suffering from tuberculosis of the spine (Pott’s Disease) and malnutrition. All Chenche needed was a course of antibiotics and some proper nutrition.
Foruka was blinded by cataracts for 7 years, unable to work and provide for his family. Foruka after his cataract operation. Soon after, with his sight regained, he started rebuilding his house.
The Mossy Foot Clinic
Mossy foot (podoconiosis) is a forgotten condition affecting about a million people in Ethiopia, with bare-foot farmers working on volcanic soils particularly vulnerable.
Small particles from the soil pass through the skin and create a blockage in the lymphatic system which stops the drainage of body fluids from their feet and legs. This results in their feet and legs swelling terribly and being prone to infections. Although it is relatively easy to treat by massage techniques and good hygiene and is not contagious, there is huge stigma surrounding the illness and often people are rejected by their families, banned from social gatherings, and unable to marry.
A number of mossy foot patients had asked for help and, thankfully, there is a clinic which can deal with mossy foot, based in the southern Ethiopian town of Wolaitta Sodo. Although at quite some distance from the area where we are working, we were able to send a number of patients there for treatment.
Following successful treatments, three of the patients took up an opportunity to be trained at the Wolaitta clinic in the treatment of mossy foot. On their return, we funded the set up of a small local mossy foot clinic so that the trained patients could help other with the condition.
Since then mossy foot patients have come from far and wide to the clinic, sometimes from 100s of km away. Not only have they seen great improvements in their condition, but they have also found great solace in meeting others who have faced similar stigma. This is obviously a hugely important factor in their wellbeing. The purpose built clinic is pictured in the photo.
Adenech shown in the photo is a former mossy foot patient herself. She is now trained to help others suffering from mossy foot.
Open way is a British Registered Charity Number 1122055