Bale was a successful merchant before he suffered from podoconiosis. The disease caused extensive pain and swelling of his feet and lower leg, along with open wounds. The community ostracised Bale because of the appearance and bad odour from infections in the wounds, which attracted flies. He couldn’t go to any public gatherings, including the market and had to stop working. At this time in his life, Bale and his dependent family lived in extreme poverty without any income. Bale became severely depressed and felt he didn’t care if he lived or died.
Three years ago, Bale came to Buccama Health Centre after hearing about EMP’s podoconiosis program. He learnt EMP’s protocol of soaking, washing, massaging the feet, and wearing socks and shoes to prevent further infection. After continuing the protocol, Bale’s severe case of podoconiosis began to reverse.
Bale’s life has changed completely in the three years since he first came to Buccama. He continues the podoconiosis protocol he learned at Buccama Health Centre and has now re-entered the community as a thriving member who teaches other people suffering from podoconiosis. He couldn’t find the words to express his gratitude to all those who support EMP and Buccama Health Centre for transforming his life through their work.