Date of release: Thursday, March 31, 2016

Dr Joshua BoatengThe healing powers of honey in the treatment of chronic leg ulcers is the topic of a public lecture at the University of Greenwich.

Ageing populations and the spread of type 2 diabetes, as a result of obesity, have led to a huge increase in the number of people suffering from leg and foot ulcers across the world.

Now scientists – including those at Greenwich – are in a race against time to discover new treatments, especially as resistance to antibiotics grows.

The lecture, open to all, takes place on Wednesday 20 April, in the Pembroke Building at the university's Medway Campus. Latest research into treatments, and drugs in development, will also be discussed.

Dr Joshua Boateng, Principal Lecturer in Pharmaceutical Formulation at Greenwich, who is giving the talk, says painful and debilitating chronic ulcers can lead to amputations, and often leave patients housebound, isolated and suffering from anxiety and depression.

He says: "Chronic leg and foot ulcers are problems for people with compromised immune systems and poor circulation. We are facing increasing resistance to the antibiotics used to treat ulcer infections, and the pharmaceuticals 'pipeline' promises little to aid healing."

As well as working with pharmaceutical developers, Dr Boateng's research team is exploring the most traditional healing treatment for leg ulcers – honey. Honey is currently used in some ulcer dressings but the supply of the recommended honey from New Zealand is both limited and expensive.

Dr Boateng says: "Our current research suggests that the healing properties of honey from New Zealand are also present in the vast majority of honeys. However, we do need to do more research to confirm our results.

"If confirmed, it will be a major breakthrough. It means locally-produced honeys worldwide could reduce suffering for millions of people and save health providers and services vast amounts of money."

The event starts 6.30pm in the Pembroke Building, at the university's Medway Campus, Chatham Maritime. Places are limited so booking is essential. Call 020 8331 9800 or email FES-public-lectures@gre.ac.uk

This is the latest in the series of public lectures run by the university's Faculty of Engineering & Science.

Story by Public Relations

Picture: Dr Joshua Boateng.

Main picture of honey jars on front page: Photo by Waugsberg