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FEET ARE FOR A LIFETIME

With more than 30 million people with diabetes, India also has the largest numbers of people with foot complication and it has been estimated that diabetes related lower extremity amputations are second only to accidents. This is something which is totally unacceptable especially as many of these lower limb diabetes related complications are avoidable or can result in minimal, if any, consequences provided that the foot problem is detected at an early stage and appropriate treatment given. .

If so, why does this not happen?

This may well have to do with the relatively poor lack of knowledge about these aspects both amongst the patients and also amongst the majority of health providers.

The key answer seems to lie in empowering the treating doctors as well as the patient through knowledge and this can be done only through “EDUCATION”.

DiabetesIndia had initiated, and is in the process of updating the education and other materials to spread knowledge amongst the health givers as well as patients.

In order to make the education material more acceptable and so more usable by doctors all over India, DiabetesIndia has initiated a process wherein the academic Guidelines are modified into a more clinically oriented and practice focused mode. We would appreciate it if you could send in your inputs along with your contact details and acceptance of being a part of this initiative.

We hope to have inputs from all over India in order to make this more inclusive, attuned to ground realities and more acceptable to the treating physicians all over this vast and heterogenous country who we feel are crucial to allow us to lower this burden of diabetes related foot disorders.

The material will then be put in a format which can be used for education and also in a manner which the treating physician can easily use in the day to day practice.

The same material again modified for patients as well as the general public will be utilized for patient education in the form of lectures, patient booklets and handouts, newspaper articles, etc. Again, considering the heterogeneity of India, much of the patient material would be brought our tin different Indian languages as far as is possible.

Although we have tried to carry out this at some centers with gratifying results, we now want to slowly roll it out all over India.

You can also send in your ideas about the diabetes foot initiative.

Everyone who is associated with this initiative would be a part of our team. This is in keeping with our thoughts that we must all work together as equals and it is only then that we would be able to do something for our people with diabetes.

At the same time, in spite of the best efforts, calamities do occur and amputations will have to be done. Which brings us to the problem of prosthesis as people have to get back to work and earn a living. Many of the prosthesis which are available are relatively very costly and cumbersome.

But India is very lucky to have facilities for the “Jaipur Foot” prosthesis or a slight modification of this which is around a 100 times or more cheaper than what is traditionally used by the developed world and often provided free. DiabetesIndia is helping set up eight such centers where the Jaipur Foot prosthesis or a slight modification, can be made for the people, all over India.

S.M. Sadikot

Please send your comments and suggestions to smsadikot@gmail.com