What is podoconiosis? Podoconiosis (or simply 'podo') is a form of elephantiasis or swelling of the lower leg triggered by prolonged exposure to irritant minerals in red clay soils. There is no infectious or contagious agent: no parasite, no bacterium, no virus is involved. It was classified as a Neglected Tropical Disease by the World Health Organization in 2011.
An estimated 4 million people in highland tropical Africa are affected with podoconiosis, and evidence suggests widespread endemicity in more than 15 countries throughout the world.