By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)
Foot complications are among the most serious and costly complications of diabetes and in Pakistan about 10% of the diabetics suffer from foot problems, many of which lead to leg amputation, Prof Dr Abdul Basit, Chairman Pakistan Working Group on Diabetic Food (PWGDF), stated.
In a recent interview he disclosed that currently there are over 400,000 people with foot ulcers in the country.
He described diabetic foot a source of huge economic burden as the direct cost of treating a diabetic foot ulcer comes to Rs 3500-61000, which is more than 10 times the average health expenditure of a Pakistani and added that to treat all the people with foot ulcers an amount double the total health budget of Pakistan, is needed.
Prof Dr Abdul Basit said that unawareness, shortage of trained health care professionals and scarcity of foot care facilities are major causes of diabetes related leg amputations, 45-89% of which are preventable through timely and efficient foot care.
“We have been conducting nation wide training programs and have established 115 diabetic foot clinics However further 1700 such clinics are required,” he stated,
He recalled that PWGDF, in collaboration with Baqai Institute of Diabetology and Endocrinology, had organized a symposium on diabetic as part of efforts to create greater awareness against this serious problem.
Dr Zahid Miyan, Chairman of Organizing Committee emphasized the need to discuss the current practices in Diabetic Foot management, to provide hands-on skills.
He pointed out that the symposium organized in this regard at the end of last month, encompassed a wide horizon of diabetic foot problem, including prevention and early diagnosis, clinical & surgical management and recent advances in targeted therapies for diabetic foot.
He said over 200 health care professionals from across the country including subject specialists and eminent experts shared their diversified experience in this area.
Dr Zafar Iqbal Abbasi, Symposium Secretary, stated that the event proved a great leaning opportunity for doctors, family physicians and health care professionals.