IMA World Health/Laura Burkey

On April 10 leave your shoes at home. Join IMA World Health and thousands of others participating in the annual event – One Day Without Shoes. It’s a day to raise awareness about children who must endure life without one of the basic needs – shoes on their feet.

Millions of children are at risk of infections, diseases and injuries simply because their families cannot afford footwear. In 2011, universities, businesses, celebrities and many others across 25 countries joined the cause.

For many of us, a pair of shoes is a fashion statement that eventually is pushed to the back of the closet with each passing season. For underprivileged children, it’s a much more serious matter. Neglected Tropical Diseases, such as hookworm and other soil transmitted helminthes, can produce a wide range of symptoms including diarrhea, abdominal pain, general malaise and weakness that may affect working and learning capacities and impair physical growth. The first line of defense is a pair of good fitting shoes.

IMA World Health supports Children for Health’s One Day Without Shoes. Won’t you take off yours? As the curiosity is piqued in your friends and co-workers, start a conversation about the event. And let’s bring about change.

For more details, visit www.onedaywithoutshoes.com.