oa Wound Healing Southern Africa - The diabetic foot : protocols and current therapies : diabetes



Diabetes mellitus is increasing globally at an alarming rate. The disabling complications of the disease are draining the healthcare resources of both developed and developing nations, and admissions for diabetic foot-related complications to hospitals and clinics worldwide are the most common reason for hospital bed occupancy in this patient population.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has predicted that there will be 330 million diagnosed diabetics worldwide by 2025. That equates to 660 million feet at risk of possible ulceration with all the attendant sequelae of amputation and limb loss. Africa will face the second highest increase in prevalence of the disease; an expected increase of 160%; second only to the increased prevalence expected in the Middle East. Considering that 85% of all amputations done in diabetics are preceded by ulceration, it is of paramount importance that diabetic footcare protocols are developed and implemented immediately. Foot screening programmes that identify those feet at risk need to be taught to all healthcare professionals involved in the care of the diabetic patient.


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