Skin diseases are among the first reasons people seek medical consultation in emerging countries, but they are difficult to treat due to the lack of medicalstaff training in peripheral health centres in these “non-priority” pathologies, the complications of which can nevertheless be severe if not promptly treated. For example, impetigo can lead to kidney failure.
This challenge is coupled with a marked lack of dermatologists, forcing patients to make long and expensive trips to seek medical advice in major urban areas. 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.
These circumstances led the Fondation Pierre Fabre to invest in the field of teledermatology with a twofold commitment: training healthcare workers to treat the most common diseases and providing the technical capacities needed to entrust the more difficult cases to specialists.
At the same time, the Foundation works on behalf of people with albinism – a condition with particularly high prevalence in Africa – to prevent them from developing the skin cancers to which they are prone, but which can nevertheless be avoided with greater awareness of preventive measures to take and monitoring by dermatologists.