Diabetic foot and resulting amputations are especially a problem in developing countries because improper shoes cause foot ulcers. Across the world, diabetic foot complications are increasing in prevalence and are associated with high morbidity and mortality.
Approximately 40–60% of all lower extremity non-traumatic amputations in the world are carried out on patients with diabetes. Combined strategies of prevention, close monitoring of patients, multidisciplinary treatment of foot ulcers and education of the patients with diabetes, as well as healthcare providers, can lead to significant reductions in amputation rates by up to 85%. Education about foot care is the most important intervention for the prevention of amputation. It should be targeted at both patients with diabetes and healthcare workers. For improving the outcome of diabetic foot patients it is important to have a multidisciplinary approach in the management of diabetic foot ulcers, and empowering patients with diabetes to take better care of their feet is an important component of patient education. Worldwide, every 30 seconds a lower limb is lost as a consequence of diabetes.
In the developing world, there is no formal training in podiatry; suitable shoes and orthotics are rarely found, and the concept of a multidisciplinary team approach does not exist. There is a very high incidence of lower‐extremity amputations, many of which are due to potentially preventable infections in neuropathic feet. Illiteracy, socio‐economic factors, different cultural beliefs, barefoot walking, as well as low awareness among health care professionals and people with diabetes all contribute to this disastrous situation.
To this end IPMA have created a two tier Diabetic Foot Care Assistant training programme which we will launch in Pakistan with the help of Pakistan’s First Diabetic Hospital.
Goals and objectives
- To create more awareness of diabetic foot problems in Pakistan.
- To provide sustainable training of health care professionals in the management of the diabetic foot.
- To facilitate the cascade of information from health care professionals who have undergone training to other health care professionals and thus to export expertise.
- To reduce the risk of lower limb complications in people with diabetes.
- To empower people with diabetes to care for their feet better, detect problems earlier and seek help timely when problems arise.