Shoes help prevent the spread of parasitic diseases that plague over 1.4 billion people worldwide, and they are a basic human necessity.

The reality of life for many individuals in developing nations is that having a pair of shoes is a rarity. It is not uncommon for
children to grow up in these areas without ever having had a pair of shoes at all.

Over 300 million children worldwide are without shoes.

Shoes are very often considered a required part of the school uniform in our countries, and without shoes, many children are unable to attend school.

Many serious health conditions can be absorbed through the feet, even through the toughest soles. As the skin on the bottom of the feet toughens and thickens, large cracks can form, which allows parasitic infections such as hookworm and threadworm to penetrate the skin. In addition, constant cuts and scrapes to the feet and ankles frequently become infected and many of these infections can lead to ulcers and worse.

Some of the most dangerous conditions of going barefoot is the risk of puncture wounds, cuts, scrapes and burns to the feet. These injuries are almost never treated and can lead to serious infections, amputa- tions and even death. With the number of children living in abject poverty and therefore surviving at a scavenger's existence, the feet are at tremendous risk as the child hunts for food or household items in garbage dumps, abandoned housing/construction areas, or while crossing through open sewer trenches and contaminated areas.

In addition to infections brought on by external injuries, a child's bare foot is particularly at risk of infection by hookworm.

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