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Project to care for diabetic foot

marciadottin, [email protected]

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THE AMPUTATION RATE in Barbados is too high for the 21st century and there is no reason why this should be so.Chief Operations Officer of the Diabetes Foundation of Barbados, Simone McConnie, outlined her concerns as she addressed the media last Friday, during the Step By Step programme workshop at the Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO). McConnie said that the programme was an effort to reduce Barbados’ amputation rate. Through Step By Step, the skills of local health care professionals would be improved and as a result they would make sound decisions related to the diabetic foot.   “I think that there is a lot that can be done to reduce the amputation rate that we have here in Barbados. The idea is to build a network of primary health givers that are able to identify and recognise diabetic foot challenges earlier on. Every single one of us have a role to play and through working together we can actually achieve a reduction in amputation rates,” she said.The podiatrist, who acknowledged that 250 amputations were done in the island each year, said her passion was to have a number of diabetic foot clinics across the country. She pointed out that the clinics would play a major role in releasing some of the pressure from the Queen Elizabeth Hospital.  “There are only six podiatrists [in Barbados] and that is no where near enough, we cannot wait for more podiatrists. I have now been back here for 17 years, when I came back there was only one podiatrist. This is a way of duplicating podistrist across the country.“Obviously, we are not asking individuals to be podiatrist, we are just asking them to have the skills of early detection. There is a lot that can be done when things are detected early,” McConnie said.“At the end of the day the hospital and surgeons are only seeing what needs to be seen, they are not seeing all the things that can be prevented. “It is time that we stop collecting data, [and] talking about we are the amputation capital of the world because we are not . . . but we have a high amputation rate. The unique thing about Barbados is that we have the techniques here, the nurses are well educated, they are motivated, but for some reason there is no cohesion,” said McConnie. (DG)