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Medical Doctor advocates regular screening for persons living with diabetes and related complications



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A Lagos-based physician and endocrinologist, Dr. Afokoghene Isiavwe, has warned of the dangers of foot ulcers, even as she called for regular screening for persons living with diabetes mellitus and other related complications.

Isiavwe in a statement warned that foot ulcers are dangerous in people living with diabetes and that poorly managed diabetes-related complications could lead to limb amputation or even death. adsbygoogle || []).push({});">

According to the statement, the prevalence of diabetes mellitus foot increases where diabetes mellitus is poorly managed, in addition to poor foot care habits and knowledge.

It reads in part: “Foot ulcers are dangerous in people living with diabetes, as over 80 percent of diabetic foot amputations are preceded by foot ulcers.

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This is why a well-cared-for foot in a person living with diabetes is unlikely to be amputated.

“Primary prevention from regular foot screening by knowledgeable health care workers leads to early detection of the ‘high-risk’ diabetes foot. This appropriate intervention at an early stage can prevent its progression to a foot ulcer.

“In a resource-poor setting like ours, with many individuals living with diabetes still unable to access basic medications and specialist services, primary prevention of foot ulcers can never be overemphasised.

“This is why we are inviting people living with diabetes to take advantage of this free diabetes foot screening and education programme and come for free diabetes foot screening. 

“Members of the public are also encouraged to participate in the foot screening programme as this could be an opportunity to know their diabetes status. This is important, considering the fact that half of people living with diabetes are not aware they have it.”

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Stating the reason for the free screening exercise, Isiavwe said the hospital was motivated by the challenges being faced today by people living with diabetes to access their daily diabetes medications and medical supplies.

She added that many people still pay out of pocket for their medications and, in recent times, have found themselves in the difficult situation of having to choose between buying their medications or buying food for their families.

“Obviously, many people living with diabetes are no longer able to control their condition, and this will further reduce the statistics to less than 20 percent of Nigerians living with diabetes that are achieving good blood sugar control, even after diagnosis.

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“With poor blood sugar control comes diabetes complications like diabetic foot ulcerations and amputations, in addition to multi-system complications, not sparing any organ, from kidney failure, blindness, nerve damage, heart disease, and stroke, among others.”

“To say the least, these complications are better prevented, as the cost of managing them is quite enormous and unaffordable to most Nigerians.

“Early detection through regular foot screening and education on good foot care habits thus remains the best available preventive measure,” the statement said.

Rainbow Specialist Medical Centre has been involved in diabetes education workshops for persons living with diabetes and capacity building workshops for Nigerian health care workers in Lagos State on diabetes foot care in collaboration with the Podiatry Institute USA, the World Walk Foundation Jamaican chapter, and the World Diabetes Foundation.

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