It’s day 4 of the Lymphoedema Awareness Week and so far, we have looked at 8 countries who are part of the ILF family. Today there will be some information on South Africa, The Netherlands, and Switzerland:
SOUTH AFRICA: Lymphoedema Association of South Africa (LAOSA)
The Lymphoedema Association of South Africa (LAOSA) is a non-profit organisation for professional individuals interested in lymphoedema treatment, as well as research and training in lymphology and lymphoedema.
The mission of LAOSA is to be a collaborative association which strives to promote quality lymphoedema management, education, awareness and research in South Africa.
South Africa has seen tremendous growth in the number of certified therapists since 2016, with training being available on home soil, through Lymphatic Education Africa and more recently LTA: Africa. Approximately 150 certified lymphoedema therapists have trained since 2016. The majority of therapists serve the private sector in South Africa but there is a growing number of therapists in the state sector.
COVID 19 has had an impact on the services that state therapists are able to provide their patients, as resources have been redirected to manage the pandemic. In state hospitals, the challenge remains, not all hospitals have access to bandages and garments to manage the condition adequately. Access to treatment for these patients is also dependent on their ability to reach the hospitals where the services are offered. The dedicated therapists working within our government sector hospitals remain passionate in their service delivery and increasing awareness of lymphoedema.
LAOSA may just be the tip of Africa and has many challenges in delivering lymphoedema services to their patients, they are however at the forefront of the treatment that is offered to their patients. Lymphofluoroscopy mapping and screening has reached our shores; with access to these mapping services the hopes of improved patient outcomes and management is being realised for some.
The challenge in South Africa remains poor recognition of the condition in the healthcare sector, an inability to access resources and limited funding for our patients care.
LAOSA has been a national lymphoedema framework since 2018.
For more information on the Lymphoedema Association of South Africa, visit their website
SWITZERLAND: Swiss Lymphoedema Framework (SLF)
The Swiss Lymphoedema Framework (SLF) is an umbrella organisation for all professional groups that are involved in the diagnosis and treatment of lymphoedema and lipoedema in Switzerland. This includes also organisations that represent the interests of patients.
The members include professional associations, specialist associations, educational institutions, patient organisations and industry partners are represented in the SLF. In addition, the SLF has benefactors that support them.
The SLF has been a national framework since 2018.
For more information on the Swiss Lymphoedema Framework, visit their website
THE NETHERLANDS: Dutch Lymphoedema Framework (NLNet)
Dutch Lymphoedema Framework (Nederlands Netwerk voor Lymfoedeem en Lipoedeem (NLNet)) is a nationwide organisation for all patients with lymphoedema, both primary and secondary, children (and their parents) with lymphoedema and patients with lipodema.
The NLNet wants to be an independent platform for providing (scientific) knowledge, national and international guidelines and experience to those who suffer from lymphatic disorders, especially lymphoedema and lipodema. It targets both patients, patient organisations and care providers.
NLNet has been a national framework since 2016.
For more information on the Dutch Lymphoedema Framework, NLNet, visit their website