"Over one million lower extremity amputations are performed each year, 70% of which happen to people with diabetes. In India, almost 40,000 legs are amputated every year as a consequence of diabetes" said Professor Jean Claude Mbanya, President of International Diabetes Federation (IDF) in his message to the mid-term continuing medical education (CME) meeting on "High-risk diabetic foot" organized by the Association of Surgeons of India (ASI), UP Chapter and Indian Podiatry Association (IPA) in Kanpur on Sunday, 11 April 2010.
Dr Mbanya's message was read out in the opening ceremony of the CME and handed out to the media. "The latest data from the International Diabetes Federation indicates that diabetes affects 285 million people around the world, and is increasingly on the rise. Of the many serious complications that can affect individuals with diabetes, it is the complications of the foot that take the greatest toll" further added Dr Mbanya in his message to this CME.
"Many of these amputations can be prevented. Better education and improved management of foot care can be performed at relatively low costs and have been shown to reduce the number of lower extremity amputations by 50-85%" said Dr Mbanya.
"It is time for the global diabetes community to engage in a concerted effort to increase awareness among carers at all levels of healthcare services worldwide. It is time to reduce the unnecessary suffering that foot complications can bring. With relatively low investment, it is possible to advance education and prevention that will result in lower rates of amputation, and better quality of life for people with diabetes. The time to act is now!" added Dr Mbanya, who is the Professor of Medicine and Endocrinology, Faculty of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, University of Yaoundé I, Cameroon. Dr Mbanya is also the Director of the National Obesity Centre University of Yaounde, Cameroon and Chief of the Endocrinology and Metabolic Diseases Unit, Hospital Central in Yaoundé, Cameroon.
Bobby Ramakant – CNS
(The author is a World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General's WNTD Awardee 2008, writes extensively on health and development for Thailand-based Citizen News Service – CNS. Website: www.citizen-news.org, email: [email protected] ).