Lahore : Amputations due to diabetes cause unnecessary loss of life and disability.
On the occasion of Diabetes Poster Exhibition, the Lahore Diabetes & Footcare Clinic Incharge Dr. Muhammad Arshad Siddiqui call attention to this problem and state that more than half of these lower limb amputations could be prevented with adequate detection and care.
Prof. Amir Zaman Khan Vice Chancellor King Edward Medical University Lahore said while Inaugurating the Diabetes Poster Exhibition at Alhamra Art Gallery that health department and policy making institutes should sit in and make a comprehensive plan to prevent the coming burden of preventable diabetes and its complications.
The purpose of this inter collegiate poster making competition on diabetic foot care and exhibition at alhamra art gallery is to raise awareness among doctors, health care providers and policy makers, public and diabetic patients, said Dr. Siddiqui while addressing the audience at this occasion.
Prof. Irshad Hussain Qureshi, Registrar and Dean of Medicine KEMU distributed cash prizes and shields among winners of the competition and best performers.
It is estimated that more than 36 million people are suffering from diabetes in Pakistan and this number is expected to double by 2030. Diabetes and its numerous complications are extremely burdensome on the health and economies of countries worldwide. In high income countries, for instance, treatment of diabetic foot complications accounts for 15-25% of total healthcare resources for diabetes. This is an enormous waste not only of scarce public health resources but also of healthy lives. It is estimated that with basic diabetes management and care, up to 80% of all diabetic foot amputations can be prevented, said Dr. Arshad Siddiqui at the occasion.
Diabetes mellitus is a chronic disease caused by the body’s inability to produce insulin, or by the ineffective use of the insulin produced. Such a deficiency results in increased concentrations of glucose in the blood, which in turn damage many of the body’s systems. Diabetic foot problems are caused by changes in blood vessels and nerves that can lead to ulceration and subsequent limb amputation
.”It is unacceptable that so much disability and death are caused by leg amputations, when the solutions are clear and affordable,” said Dr Arshad Siddiqui, consultant Diabetologist & Podiatrist at Mayo Hospital Lahore. “Small investments in prevention and education can mean fewer leg amputations, increased quality of life for individuals and dramatic reductions in health-care costs.”
Leg and foot amputations of people with diabetes can be prevented using low cost, low technology solutions. Simple behaviors should be encouraged such as regular foot examination and examining the inside of shoes before putting them on, not walking barefoot, wearing comfortable footwear, keeping feet clean, and maintaining good care of the skin and nails.
“People with diabetes need to take an active role in their own care,” said Dr. Waqas Ahmed “but they need to be supported by their health-care system to learn how to self-manage effectively. Timely access to proper treatment and medical advice is also vital.”
The story of Mr. Jameel, a middle aged poor fruit vendor residing in walled city of Lahore along with his wife in a single room flat, is a ray of hope among diabetic patients with foot ulcers as he is successfully treated by Dr. Siddiqui at Mayo foot care clinic and saved from leg amputation.
If hundreds of others with foot ulcers had received self-care education and routine follow-ups for their diabetic foot ulcers, their amputations could have been prevented.
Beyond prevention of diabetes complications, type 2 diabetes, which accounts for the vast majority of the disease, is also largely preventable. Type 2 diabetes can be prevented by addressing risk factors such as physical inactivity and overweight/obesity. These risk factors are shared by other chronic diseases such as heart disease, stroke and cancer. As such, WHO advocates an integrated framework for the prevention, control and treatment of all chronic diseases, particularly in low resource settings. The integrated approach incorporates cost-effective measures to prevent common risk factors and to address common health-care needs.
Lahore Diabetes & Foot Care Clinic is a humble initiative to raise awareness of this preventable complication and to promote prevention and integrated treatment and care.