The Federal Ministry of Health (FMoH) says diabetes foot disease is a leading cause of hospital admissions as well as the most common cause of non-traumatic amputation in the lower extremities in Nigeria.
According to it, this is worrisome as the economic burden becomes quite significant knowing most of the health expenditure in the country is from out of pocket expenses.
The National Desk Officer, Diabetes, FMoH, Dr Alayo Sopekan made the disclosure at the Annual International Diabetes, Podiatry and Diabetes Foot Care Workshop organised by the Rainbow Specialist Medical Centre in collaboration with World Walk Foundation , Jamaica Chapter.
The five-days workshop which started on Monday has its theme as: “Building the Diabetes Foot First Responders’’.
The lower extremity refers to the part of the body from the hip to the toes; it includes the hip, knee, and ankle joints, and the bones of the thigh, leg, and foot; however, many people refer to the lower extremity as the leg.
Sopekan, represented by Olanike Akinkoye, Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) Division, Diabetes Desk, FMoH, said: “Diabetes is a common clinical condition in Nigeria, being managed at the primary, secondary and tertiary health centers in both private and public sectors.
“It is the commonest endocrine disorder encountered in clinical practice.
It is estimated that the rate of foot ulcer among people living with diabetes is between 8.3 and 19 per cent in the different zones of the country.
The rate of amputation was also estimated to be as high as 53.2 per cent in people with foot ulcer in some centres, thereby making diabetes foot the most common cause of non-traumatic amputation in the lower extremities in Nigeria.’’
According to Sopekan, a large majority of people living with the disease in Nigeria have little or no knowledge of diabetes and its complications and its prevalence is expected to increase.
On the risk for diabetes, particularly Type 2, he said it is heightened by overweight/obesity and the proliferation of industries producing unhealthy diets, including high sugar drinks.
Sopekan assured that the Federal Government was very much committed to providing leadership for the prevention and control of diabetes and other non-communicable diseases through the FMoH.
“We need to prevent amputation, no matter what stage it is. We need to focus on the simple things that lead to amputations. We need to go to the primary care level and this starts with education.
Let us improve foot health and ensure that we always check our feet, especially for those living with diabetes,’’ Bernard, who is a Chiropodist and Podiatrist advised.