Worried by the prevalence of diabetes-related complications linked to poorly managed diabetes, Rainbow Specialist Medical Centre has offered free diabetes foot screening for persons with diabetes mellitus.
Rainbow Specialist Medical Centre is a private hospital with a focus on the management of diabetes and other endocrine and metabolism conditions.
A statement signed by the hospital’s Medical Director, Dr Afokoghene Isiavwe, said the free screening is available every Tuesday this August at its 11c Babatunde Anjous premises in Lekki Phase 1, Lagos.
She described Diabetes mellitus foot syndrome as a preventable condition which sadly claims the limbs and lives of persons living with diabetes mellitus.
According to her, its prevalence increases where diabetes mellitus is poorly managed in addition to poor foot care habits and knowledge.
She added: “Foot ulcers are dangerous in persons with diabetes, as over 80 per cent of diabetes foot amputations are preceded by foot ulcers.
“This is why a well-cared-for foot in a person with diabetes is unlikely to be amputated.”
The MD emphasised that primary prevention from regular foot screening by knowledgeable health care workers leads to early detection of the ‘high risk’ diabetes foot.
“These appropriate interventions at the early stage can prevent its progression to a foot ulcer,” she stated.
In a resource-poor setting like ours, Isiawve lamented that with many individuals with diabetes still unable to access essential medications and specialist services, primary prevention of foot ulcers can never be over-emphasised.
In her words: “This is why we are inviting people with diabetes to take advantage of this free diabetes foot screening and education program and come for free diabetes foot screening.”
“We encourage members of the public to participate in the foot screening program as this could be an opportunity to know their diabetes status. This is important because half of people with diabetes are unaware they have it.”
Stating the reason for the free screening, Isiavwe said the hospital was motivated by the challenges being faced today by persons 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 a difficult situation of having to choose between buying their drugs or buying food for their families.
“Many people with diabetes can no longer control their condition, which will further reduce the statistics to less than 20 per cent of Nigerians living with diabetes that are achieving reasonable blood sugar control, even after diagnosis.
“With poor blood sugar control comes diabetes complications like diabetes 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,” says the medical director.
“To say the least, these complications are better prevented as the cost of managing them is enormous and unaffordable to most Nigerians.
“Early detection through regular foot screening and education on good foot care habits thus remains the best preventive measure,” she recommended.
Rainbow Specialist Medical Centre has been involved in diabetes education workshops for persons with diabetes and capacity-building workshops for Nigerian health Care workers in Lagos State on diabetes foot care.
To achieve these aims, the hospital partnered with the Podiatry Institute USA, World Walk Foundation Jamaican chapter and the World Diabetes Foundation.