Outcomes and Assessment
A one-month follow-up report from CMCH indicates that the management techniques implemented by Dr. Geyer’s team appear to have been highly successful in achieving reductions in pain, frequency of acute attacks, swelling, and have resulted in improved mobility for the LF patients.
The advanced training provided by Dr. Geyer and her team was well-received but outcomes demonstrate that many barriers to successful implementation remain. For example, the high cost and limited availability of bandages and compression garments and the time and labor-intensive nature of these methods limit their current use for the majority of patients. Also, patients often did not continue treatment, but those who did reported positive results.
According to Dr. Geyer, “Innovative solutions are needed to treat and retain reduction of the swollen limbs in tropical and resource-poor settings”. As expected, one month follow-up reports from India have confirmed that the advanced methods have been difficult if not impossible to implement.
Through Dr. Geyer’s involvement in the Association for the Advancement of Wound Care (AAWC) and active support from AAWC President, Dr. John Macdonald, the Benter Lymphedema Project collaborated with the AAWC’s new volunteer program, the World Wound Care Alliance (WWCA). Continued support of the Benter Lymphedema Project initiative in India will be provided in conjunction with the WWCA.
Dr. Geyer is working on other innovative solutions for the LF population and to obtain funding to continue this service-learning project for Chatham students in India and other LF endemic regions. Efforts include collaborating with two large non-government organizations to develop alternatives for funding. She also is serving as a consultant to the LF NGDO Network and is developing a project for 2008 that will extend the work started by the Benter Project to include training in the fabrication of cost-effective therapeutic footwear for patients with LF, leprosy and diabetes.
> The Benter Initiative in India
> Outcomes and Assessment
> The Students’ Perspectives
> About Mary Jo Geyer, William Benter and the Benter Initiative at Chatham
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