An awareness campaign on athlete’s foot which was initiated by Lamisil of Novartis Consumer Health and backed by both the Ministry of Health UAE and the Islamic Affairs & Charitable Activities Department moves in to its next phase.
The campaign that was launched in March 2006 set about to increase awareness of athlete’s foot; an ailment caused by a fungal infection of the skin on the foot. Of the fungal infections known as tinea infections, Athlete's foot is the most common. It may occur at the same time as other fungal skin infections. These fungi thrive in warm, moist environments such as shoes, stockings, and the floors of public showers, locker rooms, ablution rooms and around swimming pools.
The first phase saw posters that highlight the condition, how to avoid, and how to treat athlete’s foot, placed in more than 500 mosque ablution rooms across Dubai. The next phase is intended to increase this awareness by reaching out to the Muslims who use the prayer rooms in shopping malls across Abu Dhabi, Dubai, and Sharjah and soon to be placed in other GCC regions.
One recent study conducted in eight mosques in South Africa, found that the prevalence rate of athlete’s foot in the adult Muslim male population regularly attending mosques was 81 per cent compared with the non-Muslim males, which registered a prevalence rate of just 41 per cent.
Ibrahim, a prayer said “I didn’t expect that athlete’s foot spreads so easy from person to person. After reading the poster I dry my feet more thoroughly using my personal towel. Prevention is better than cure.” Ibrahim observed that many of the prayers don’t dry their feet very well before walking over the carpets of the mosques. “I wish these posters reach out to a lot more people so we can all avoid infection.”
“Our estimates after administering a questionnaire to more than 20,000 people in the last year tell us that 40% of those suffering from the symptoms are unaware of the problems,” said Mr. Wagih of Lamisil. According to an Achilles survey in Europe in 1999 there are 190 million people who might have the infection. Although more common amongst men and the elderly, athletes foot affects both women and children as well.
Over-the-counter antifungal sprays and creams are available at all pharmacies that help eliminate the infection; Lamisil Cream or Spray is one such treatment that has been scientifically proven to start killing the fungus the moment it is applied and cures Athlete's foot in just one week when used once daily.