International Podiatric Medical Association (IPMA) is a charitable organisation which has been established by four UK podiatrist with a commitment to reducing foot amputations due to diabetes in Pakistan.
Worldwide, diabetes related complications result in the amputation of a lower limb every 30 seconds. In Pakistan about 40,000 legs are lost as a consequence of diabetes annually in the country, which is home to about 7.1 million diabetics and 400,000 people with foot ulcers, research suggests that cases of amputation of lower limbs are linked to high mortality as renal and cardiovascular functions are also compromised in diabetic.
Since the majority of the amputations in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) are reported to follow foot ulcers, an understanding of pathways and risk factors is essential to improve quality of life, reduce the frequency of ulceration, and ultimately, avoid the amputation of lower extremities.
IPMA aims to do this via 3 distinct pathways.
An increase in public awareness in Pakistan. People with diabetes should be involved more in their own care – they should know how to look after their feet, what risk they have of developing a complication, and what care they should get from the health service.
Healthcare professionals should understand the risk of diabetic foot disease, IPMA will train exisitng healthcar professional in majpr cities and in villages to be able to provide anual foot care checks and have access to a integrated footcare pathway which should be delivered across primary, community and acute health services in Paksitan.
IPMA will organise foot screening camps using qualified teams of podiatrists from the UK which will aim to reach remote areas of Pakistan as well as the major cities. The teams of podiatrists will also treat any urgent cases and set up referral within one working day for those with ulcers to a multidisciplinary specialist footcare team and ensure people are seen by a member of the team