Worried by the gaps in training of specialists to effectively tackle the high prevalence of diabetes and its complications among Nigerians, a group of medical experts under the aegis of the Podiatry Initiative Nigeria, PIN, have initiated a pilot training workshop in Lagos in the area of Podiatric medicine. The training is to help bridge the training gap and raise awareness on the subspecialty of podiatry or Podiatric medicine, a branch of medicine dedicated to the study of diagnosis, medical and surgical treatment of disorders of the foot, ankle, and lower extremity.
Local data of diabetes foot ulcers show alarming amputation rate of over 50 per cent in some cohorts and mortality of up to 40.5 per cent. Data from the International Diabetes Federation, IDF, show that the number of persons with type 2 diabetes is increasing in every country even though 80 percent of people with diabetes live in the low and middle income countries. Every six seconds, one person dies of diabetes. In 2013, there were 5.1 million diabetes-related deaths and more than 21 million complications. Also last year, diabetes caused at least USD 548 billion in health expenditure which is 11 percent of total spending on adults. Findings show that at least 175 million people with diabetes are undiagnosed while the greatest number of persons with diabetes are aged 40-59.
Disclosing all these to Good Health Weekly in a chat, Head of the team, Dr. Afokoghene Rita Isaivwe, said increase in knowledge of proper foot care in persons with diabetes and training of the physicians looking after them to enable them detect early signs of diabetes foot and properly manage the condition, is key in preventing and reducing the scourge of the diabetes foot in Nigeria. Isiavwe recounted that in a tertiary hospital in Lagos, diabetes mellitus foot syndrome was responsible for most amputations in the surgical unit (55.14 per cent of all amputations)