85% Foot Amputation are Due to Ulcer, Says Expert

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Ayodeji Ake

The Medical Director, Rainbow Specialist Medical Centre (RSMC), Dr. Rita Isiavwe, has revealed that 85 per cent of diabetic leg amputation cases are as a result of ulcer, while 75 per cent are preventable.

Speaking at the 4th Annual International Podiatry and Diabetes Foot Care Workshop in Lagos, recently, and organised by the Consortium of Health Initiatives, said the condition has led to many non-traumatic lower limb amputation worldwide, including Nigeria. Adding that these causes are majorly consequences of ignorance by affected individuals and medical personnel caring for them, who were supposed to refer them to appropriate health centres.

“The prevalence of diabetes mellitus is on the increase worldwide, especially in developing nations like Nigeria, and increasing diabetes prevalence comes with increased diabetes complications. We need to reduce diabetes in Nigeria and to implement policies to include foot diabetes programs in our health system.

“We need to have a good policy on foot care especially at the primary healthcare level so that we can educate every Nigerian about diabetes and early detection. We have achieved a lot in terms of reaching awareness and to reach out to Nigerians in diaspora. We have trained over 400 personnel this year and for the annual programme, we have about hundred personnel present here,” she said.

The Minister of State for Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, who was represented by the Medical Director, Federal Medical Centre, Ebute Metta Lagos, Dr. Adedamola Dada, commended the efforts of the organisers..

Dada noted that “Diabetes is one of the most important non-communicable diseases in our country. It can therefore not be ignored. Prevention of complications is a major strategy in the management of the condition.”

Speaking on whether there is policy on implementation of foot diabetes or not, he said “It’s not correct to say there is no policy on foot care. The diabetes foot care should be incorporated into the health system. We know that environmental factor is an important element in prevention and care of diabetes.”

The Medical Director, Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University Teaching Hospital, Bauchi, Dr. Mohammed Alkali, said there are millions of Nigerians living with diabetes unknown to them, thus suggested a training programme across hospitals for proper education.

“Is true that diabetes is on the increase, and to avoid this, we should embrace healthy living,” he said.