2023 Activities

From November 2022 – March 2023, the Oxford University Clinical Research Unit (OUCRU), Indonesia, in collaboration with award-wing photographer Yoppy Pieter, created an in-person and virtual exhibition documenting leprosy’s health and psychosocial burden through photographic images and organised a symposium on leprosy’s social and financial impact and other skin diseases in Indonesia. You can view the virtual exhibition here:

Following its 2022 pilot project, the Tanzania Society for Dermatovenereology (TASOD), in partnership with Albinism Sans Frontiere (ASF), established a national database linked to Tanzania’s Regional Dermatology Training Centre (RDTC) in 2023. This database tracks people with albinism (PWAs) and skin cancer cases among albino patients in Burundi, improving care quality. The project offers free treatment at outreach clinics and local hospitals, conducts community-based awareness workshops, and establishes Albinism Associations in 17 Burundian provinces. The first outreach clinic treated 146 PWAs and trained 14 advocates, with plans to expand outreach clinics to other Burundian regions.

In 2023, the Sri Lanka College of Dermatologists (SLCD) established a national digital leishmaniasis registry. Through this initiative, they hope to improve leishmaniasis’s detection, reporting and management. The data collected were used to develop public awareness resources and workshops to help mitigate the spread of the disease. They undertook a multi-health education programme in schools and workplaces, which 400 people attended.

From Jan – May 2023, Standing Voice, with support from the Irish Association of Dermatologists, conducted a crucial project as part of World Skin Health Day. Their mission was to address the skin cancer crisis among people with albinism in southern Malawi’s Blantyre, Phalombe, and Mulanje districts. Over two six-day workshops, 24 healthcare professionals received skin cancer prevention and management training. Additionally, they provided essential care to 366 albinism patients, including consultations, sunscreen, protective clothing, and health education. Surgical procedures were performed when needed, greatly improving the well-being of this vulnerable group and promoting skin health awareness.

In 2023, the Regional Dermatology Training Centre (RDTC) delivered extensive care to more than 16,000 patients, focusing on atopic dermatitis and acne. Their outreach programs expanded specialised dermatological services to diverse communities, addressing conditions like PWA, leprosy, and STIs. Despite resource challenges, the Centre’s commitment to comprehensive patient care and community outreach significantly enhanced dermatological healthcare access and treatment.

In January, the Brazilian Society of Dermatology held its “Purple January” leprosy awareness campaign to mark World Skin Health Day. The campaign featured educational videos, digital outreach, and family involvement for early detection and promoted free treatment via Brazil’s Unified Health System, enhancing community awareness and early disease identification. In total, they reached 3 million people across Brazil.

From 23 – 31 January, Gamal Abdel Nasser University of Conakry, in partnership with Clinique Dermatologique and Global Dermatology, provided free skin checks and follow-up treatment to low-resource communities in Boké, Guinea, to mark World Skin Health Day. In total, they treated 900 patients across four locations. They also hosted free workshops on various skin health issues during their online conference, which was open to healthcare professionals and students.

On 17-18 February, in Athens, the International Society for Research and Education on Congenital and Acquired Skin Diseases held a Skin Cancer and Lymphoma Prevention Clinic as part of World Skin Health Day. The event included developing and distributing educational materials like leaflets and social media posts, emphasising sun protection, self-examination, and proper skincare. Free examinations were provided for skin cancer or cutaneous lymphoma patients at the University General Hospital “Attikon.” The event aimed to raise awareness about skin diseases and lymphomas and provide follow-up care, particularly for high-risk patients.

In April, the Philippine Academy of Dermatologic Surgery Foundation Inc. (PADSFI) conducted a medical mission, T.E.A.M., on Lubang Island, Occidental Mindoro. In partnership with local organisations, this mission provided free dermatologic consultations, surgeries, and medications to 500 residents, focusing on enhancing skin health awareness and treatment for the local community.

In April, DERMALAWI conducted its third surgical campaign in Malawi to detect and treat skin conditions in people with albinism. They provided medical attention to 2,317 patients, addressing various dermatological issues, including pruritus, scabies, and tinea capitis. They also focused on early diagnosis and treatment for leprosy and implemented a menstrual management program. Additionally, surgeries were performed to excise malignant tumours, and orthopaedic shoes were made for patients with physical impairments. The campaign showcased the commitment to improving healthcare access and awareness in underserved communities.

On 6 April, the Indian Association of Dermatologists, Venereologists and Leprologists (IADVL) undertook a nationwide campaign to raise awareness about the dangers of skin bleaching. As part of this, they challenged societal norms by underscoring healthy and beautiful skin comes in all skin tones. They encouraged citizens across India to ‘Stop the Fair Skin Mania’ and love the skin your in. 

In May 2023, the Malagasy Society of Dermatology (SOMADER) hosted World Skin Health Day activities at the Hotel Carlton in Antananarivo. The event had over 300 participants, including university heads, medical experts, and students. The program spanned two days, discussing tropical neglected diseases and atopic dermatitis. Additionally, a field mission occurred in Morondava and Mahabo, with dermatological consultations provided in rural areas. A total of 239 patients were seen, addressing various dermatological conditions.

On 11 May, the Dermatovenerology Association of Turkey hosted a Skin Cancer Prevention Clinic in Izmir as part of World Skin Health Day. This event was marked by creating and disseminating various educational materials, including leaflets, flyers, and social media content, all aimed at raising awareness about skin cancer. A key feature of the day was the provision of free skin examinations, highlighting the critical importance of early detection and the necessity of regular skin health checks. Following the event, attendees were offered the opportunity for follow-up care at the association’s outpatient clinic, focusing on serving high-risk groups and immunocompromised patients.

In response to Lebanon’s health crisis and to mark World Skin Health Day, the International Foundation for Dermatology and Bridges2Health&Rights led a mission (25 May – 2 June 2023) targeting skin and sexual health in local and displaced communities. Collaborating with local entities, they trained 150 dermatovenerologists and 12 clinical staff, treated 417 patients, and addressed prevalent conditions like eczema, psoriasis, and rarer diseases. They spotlighted substantial healthcare deficiencies, particularly in women’s health, and the plight of Syrian refugees in inadequate shelters.

In June, the Nigerian Association of Dermatologists (NAD) launched a Basic Skin Care Campaign in Lagos, Uyo, and Enugu to enhance skin health awareness. The campaign included educational outreach with health walks and sessions broadcasted on national news, viewable at this YouTube link. There was also active media engagement through radio and social media, along with direct support such as distributing skin moisturisers and providing special care for individuals with albinism. The campaign succeeded in educating 450 individuals, offering specialised care to 40 persons with albinism, and treating approximately 300 patients.

In July, the South Pacific Dermatology Society supported by the Australasian College of Dermatologists, marked World Skin Health Day by hosting dermatological workshops for medical residents, nurses and general practitioners during its first annual meeting, held online with participants from Australia and Fiji, and presentations by guest lecturers on dermatology research conducted in Fiji.

The French Society of Dermatology undertook a two-part initiative in September 2023. The first part was a survey that gathered experiences from 1,800 individuals suffering from skin conditions. The second part involved a roundtable discussion focusing on the survey’s outcomes, patient empowerment, and advancements in treatment. This approach, which engaged 120 stakeholders, underscored the importance of involving patients in skin health matters, fostering a more inclusive and informed healthcare environment.

In October, the Brazilian Society of Dermatology (SBD) initiated its Psoriasis Awareness campaign in honour of World Skin Health Day and World Psoriasis Day. The multimedia campaign tackled prejudice, emphasised psychological support, and highlighted the importance of diet, weight control, and physical activity in managing the disease. Additionally, researchers from Universidade Estadual Paulista de Araraquara (Unesp) developed a sustainable Aloe vera-based treatment to alleviate symptoms, minimising side effects like skin dryness and pore-clogging. In total, the Campaign reached 5 million people.

From 4th to 10th November, the Australasian College of Dermatologists (ACD) hosted “7 Days of Skin Health.” This event included daily expert articles providing insights into skin, hair, and nail care. It covered a diverse range of topics, including adolescent skincare, hair, and nail health, focusing on offering practical advice and knowledge to the public. This week-long initiative educated the public about dermatological health, contributing greatly to the awareness and understanding of skin-related issues.

The Chilean Society of Dermatology and Venereology (SOCHIDERM) launched a comprehensive Skin Cancer Prevention Campaign in November 2023 to mark World Skin Health Day. Supported by the Chilean Government, the campaign educated 2 million Chileans on skin cancer self-screening and prevention using social media and events at key national locations.

In November, the Philippine Academy of Dermatologic Surgery Foundation Inc. (PADSFI) conducted a medical mission in General Mariano Alvarez Cavite. They provided free dermatologic consultations, surgeries, and medications while enhancing skin health awareness.

In December, the Brazilian Society of Dermatology (SBD) launched its “Orange December” campaign, reaching an estimated 5 million people, including 19,000 free skin consultations. The campaign focused on skin cancer awareness and prevention via a multimedia campaign.

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