Everyday there is an estimated 100 million people around the world who are now homeless. As many as 1.6 billion people lacked proper & adequate housing which makes them susceptible to many diseases and parasites. Within the US there is an estimated 550,000 homeless individuals each year struggling to not only find shelter, but trying to stay warm within the frigid cold of the night. This is the reason why ForeignPlug was created and why The Barefoot Project came into existence. For every sale we make, we will send a pair of socks and or shoe's to a charitable organization around the world that helps with homelessness and fighting against the many different parasitic disease from poverty.
Tungiasis (sand flea disease) is a parasitic skin disease with origins in The America's. Sand flea disease is a zoonosis caused by the penetration of female sand fleas into the skin. In humans, tungiasis predominantly affects marginalized populations. Children and elderly people are especially susceptible to this severe disease. Sand flea disease is the most frequent parasitic infection in many resource-poor communities (homeless). Despite the substantial disease burden caused by embedded sand fleas, tungiasis is basically neglected by health care providers, policy makers, the scientific community, the pharmaceutical industry, and funding institutions.
Tunga penetrans is distributed in tropical and subtropical regions around the world. In South America, tungiasis has been reported from Columbia to Argentina. In the Caribbean tungiasis is documented in Trinidad, Tobago and Haiti, but other islands & countries may also be affected. Historical records indicate that tungiasis occurred in almost all countries in The America's. Tungiasis thrives where living conditions are precarious, such as villages located in remote beaches, communities in the rural hinterland and shanty towns of big cities, or homeless camps. In these settings the poorest of the poor carry the highest burden of disease.
In resource-poor urban neighborhoods and in indigenous communities prevalence may be as high as 60% in the general population and up to 80% in children (Feldmeier et al. 2012). The burden of disease caused by T. penetrans has never been assessed and is difficult to determine. Probably more than 20 million individuals are at risk in the Americas alone. Repeated infections result in disfigurement and mutilation of the feet eventually leading to impaired mobility. Impaired physical fitness of adult household members has a negative impact on life quality and on household economics.