Most amputation cases due to diabetes preventable: WHO

Kathmandu, November 14:

Around 80 per cent of all diabetic foot amputation cases can be prevented with basic diabetes management and care. The World Health Organisation (WHO) and International Diabetes Federation (IDF) has called for timely attention toward this problem.

The WHO, in a press release here today, on World Diabetes Day, stated that amputations due to diabetes cause unnecessary loss of life and incurred disability.

“It is alarming that so much disability and deaths are caused by leg amputations, when solutions are clear and affordable,” Dr Catherine Le Galès-Camus, WHO Assistant Director-General for Noncommunicable Diseases and Mental Health said in a release. It is estimated that over 170 million people are suffering from diabetes globally. This number is expected to double by 2030. Diabetes and its myriad complications are extremely burdensome on the health budget and economies of countries worldwide. In high income countries, for instance, treatment of diabetic foot complications accounts for 15-25 per cent of the total healthcare resources for diabetes. Foot problems arising from diabetes are caused by changes in blood vessels and nerves that lead to ulceration and subsequent limb amputation.

“Leg and foot amputations of people with diabetes can be prevented by using low cost and low technology solutions. Simple procedures should be encouraged, such as regular foot test and examining the insides of shoes before putting them on, not walking barefoot, wearing comfortable footwear, keeping feet clean, and maintaining good care of skin and nails,” said Dr Camus. “People with diabetes need to take active care of these problems,” said Professor Pierre Lefèbvre, the IDF president. “But they need to be backed by a healthcare system to learn how to self-manage effectively. ”