Development and Alumni Relations

Podoconiosis (podo) is a form of elephantiasis that causes devastating swelling in the legs and feet of sufferers. Most people have never heard of this disease, but it affects millions of people around the world. Thanks to a grant from the Big Lottery Fund, University of Sussex has been researching podo and treating patients in Ethiopia, where almost half the population is at risk. We now know the disease is entirely preventable and treatable and, with your help, we can eliminate this disease within our lifetimes.

Brighton and Sussex Medical School is the global hub for podoconiosis research. The Preventing Podo campaign was launched to turn our ground-breaking research into practical action, improving the lives of some of the world’s poorest and most disadvantaged people. So far, with the help of the Sussex community, we have helped to:

  • treat over 35,000 patients, none of whom had previously received healthcare for podo
  • distribute over 330,000 pairs of shoes
  • train over 450 health workers, volunteers and staff
  • raise awareness across many rural communities about the causes and effects of podo

These are remarkable achievements, but with so many people affected around the world, we cannot afford to stop there.

Runners and supporters - can you join us in taking steps towards preventing and treating this terrible condition today? 

Over 100 Sussex alumni, staff and students will run the Brighton Marathon and BM10k on Sunday 9 April in our largest every community fundraising event in support of world-leading research into podoconiosis (podo). Thank you to everyone who is helping us to reach our £50,000 fundraising target. This is a fantastic opportunity for the entire Sussex community to support pioneering research and the expansion of our treatment programme to the rest of the world. Our BM10k allocation is now full, but Brighton Marathon places are still available. Here’s what our runners and supporters will achieve:

  • £15 – by sponsoring a runner with £15, you will provide a supply of bandages and antiseptic ointment for one person’s treatment for a whole year
  • £300 – the individual target for BM10K runners – will provide a supply of bandages and antiseptic ointment for 20 people’s treatment for a whole year
  • £500 – the individual target for Marathon runners – will provide a supply of bandages and antiseptic ointment for 30 people’s treatment for a whole year. It will also help us to undertake vital education work, ensuring the causes and treatments of podo are properly communicated to whole communities

Collectively, we aim to raise £50,000 and 100% of every penny raised will go directly towards Preventing Podo

Our BM10k allocation is now full. If you would like to volunteer to cheer on our runners on the day, please click here.

If you would like to support our runners and podo patients around the world with a donation, please visit our pages on Everyday Hero.

Thank you.

Photo credits: Many thanks to Clive Chilvers, Jessica Shortall and Gail Davey for the use of their images on the Preventing Podo webpages.