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National

August 13, 2018

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Call to set up more diabetes foot clinics in country

aLAHORE: Expert diabetologists have urged the upcoming Punjab and federal governments to establish diabetes foot clinics at the tehsil, district and tertiary care hospitals to prevent amputations and save lower limbs of diabetics.

They said that, despite having millions of diabetics in Punjab, there were only four diabetic foot clinics operating in public and private sector in Lahore where hundreds of people with the diabetic foot ulcers (DFUs) were reporting on a daily basis.

“Diabetic foot ulcers have become a global challenge. Evidence-based research shows that after establishment of specialised clinics, amputation rate reduced almost half in Pakistan so we need more specialised foot clinics in Punjab and rest of the country on urgent basis”, said Dr Muhamamd Arshad Siddiqui, incharge of Mayo Hospital Lahore’s Diabetes and Foot Clinic while speaking at National Association of Diabetes Educators of Pakistan (Nadep) Diabetes Foot Con 2018 at a local hotel on Sunday.

The international diabetes conference is being organised by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF), MENA region, in collaboration with Baqai Institute of Diabetology and Endocrinology (BIDE) Karachi and DFC of Mayo Hospital, Lahore, where the speakers from the United States, Europe, Middle East, Africa and different cities of Pakistan are presenting their research work on diabetic foot ulcers, prevention of amputations and cardiovascular diseases and proper diabetes control through use of insulin to reduce disability and mortality.

Dr Arshad Siddiqui said prevalence of diabetes prevalence was second highest in Punjab followed by Sindh in Pakistan. He said that due to poor and sedentary lifestyle, lack of the habit of exercise and heavy eating by people in Punjab, the rate of diabetes was climbing in the province. “But if Lahorites in particular and others in general start jogging and running on a daily basis, they can continue with their ‘current eating habits and practices”, he added.

Urging the upcoming Punjab government to establish diabetic foot clinics at the tehsil, district and tertiary care level hospitals in the province, he said four foot clinics in entire Lahore were insufficient and called for investing more on prevention of diabetes to keep the younger generation in Lahore and rest of Punjab safe from diabetes.

IDF President of Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region Prof Abdul Basit claimed that there were roughly 400,000 people living with diabetic foot ulcers in Pakistan and added that around 8-10 percent of them were at the risk of losing their lower limbs.

There are still many cities in Pakistan where no foot clinics are operating to treat and guide diabetics about possible damage to their feet, he said. He said they had so far established 115 foot clinics in entire Pakistan while they were planning to increase the number to 600 clinics throughout the country.

Nadep Diabetes Foot Con 2018 Chairman Prof Zahid Miyan said doctors should educate their patients about dangers of developing foot injuries as once a diabetic got foot ulcer, he or she was at risk of having amputation and added that specialised footwear had a very important role in preventing diabetic foot ulcers.

“People with diabetes should also take balanced diet, having more protein and lesser carbohydrates as our research shows that proteins have an important role in preventing and healing foot injuries”, he added.

American nutritionist Barbara Eichorst spoke on the “Importance of Nutrition in the Healing of Diabetic Foot Ulcers” and said balanced diet, rich in protein, vitamins, fiber and minerals played a vital role in healing the foot injuries and added research showed that tight glycemic control through balanced diet with low carbs improved healing of foot ulcers.

Prof Uzma Khan from the United States spoke on peripheral neuropathy in which patients with diabetes lose sensation in their feet and urged doctors to guide patients about taking care of their feet on a regular basis. Uzma Khan urged the patients to take care of their feet through diet control and exercise.

The researchers from BIDE Karachi gave their presentation on “Art of Healthy Cooking”, in which experts Jawaria Mahmood, Mehwish Sheraz and Tahmina spoke on cooking techniques to help control diabetes at home.

The conference was also addressed by Dr Zulfikar G. Abbass from Tanzania who spoke about “Diabetic Foot Attack” in the world and called for declaring it a world medical emergency, while many other doctors, including Prof Amber Malik, Dr Saidf-ul-Haque, Erum Ghafoor, Dr Fauzia Moyeen, also addressed the concluding session of the moot.

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