Pakistan has millions of people with foot ulcers with alarming amputations rate-Prof. Abdul Basit

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NADEP Diabetes FOOTCON 2019
Pakistan has millions of people with foot
ulcers with alarming amputations
rate-Prof. Abdul Basit
We need regulatory body for Diabetes Educators
and Foot Care Assistants

By Mubarak Ali

KARACHI: At present we have approximately fifty hundred thousand people with foot ulcers in Pakistan with an alarming amputation rate of about 10%. We spent millions of rupees in Polio awareness but are least bothered about these people who lose their life due to amputation. This was stated by Prof. Abdul Basit, Chairman of International Diabetes Federation (IDF) Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Region while speaking in the inaugural session at two-day NADEP Diabetes Footcon 2019 held at a local hotel here from August 2-4, 2019. Prof. Dr. Roberto Anichini from Italy, Dr. Zulfiqar G. Abbass from Tanzania, Dr. Salma E Khuraibet from Kuwait besides guests from United Kingdom, United Arab Emirates and other countries of Middle East and Africa participated in the conference.

Continuing Prof. Abdul Basit said that there was no concept of diabetes education in Pakistan, in the past. Our every fourth person is diabetic. We have decided to ensure that we will keep on our struggle until and unless every person have standard care, have medicines, tests are provided consultation and affordable medicines are made available to avoid complications. To achieve this objective, we have created Advisory Board for the care of Diabetes. NADEP Educators have played an important role in pioneering diabetes education in Pakistan. Corporate sector has also supported our people when there was no jobs opportunity for them.


Sitting on the dais in the inaugural session during the two-day NADEP Diabetes Footcon
2019 from (L to R) Dr. Zahid Miyan, Prof. Bikha Ram, 
Mr. Ayub Shaikh, Prof. Abdul Basit
and Dr. Saif-ul-Haq

Prof. Abdul Basit urged the concerned authorities to recognize diabetes educators in healthcare profession. There is no regulatory body, we are still in search of it. If we have Allied Health Care Professional Body to regulate and recognize these diabetes educators we can have revolution in diabetes management. We like to have regulator body for our foot care assistants also. We have proposed this idea in IWGDF that we cannot afford podiatrist which requires millions of rupees for training and when they come back after four years training, they are searching for registration, because there is no regulatory body for podiatrists. We requested that we need foot care assistants, they will sit in the foot clinics, they will see the patients with the doctors, know the basic skills, how to do the I&D, callus removal and simple podiatry etc. The international bodies have endorsed it and now in PWGDF we have about one hundred fifty diabetes foot care assistants trained in Pakistan. We have established one hundred fifteen foot care clinics and in three years’ time have documented 50% reduction of imputation rate in these clinics. We need around three thousand such clinics. We will start podology courses in Pakistan with the help from Italy. People use to say that Peripheral artery disease was non-existent in Pakistan which is not true. We have stared Wednesday morning clinics to discuss PAD cases from all over the country, anybody have patients suffering from diabetic foot ulcers and he or she is struggling to treat these patents can call us we will help in their management.

Prof. Abdul Basit further said that we need public/private partnership to see diabetes complication free Pakistan. We have created a Foundation and now signing MOUs with people with the help of philanthropists in which international coordinators and collaborators who are willing to work with us and going to establish three thousand diabetic clinics throughout Pakistan. We will use telemedicine and train people as master trainers and use mobile technology to provide best care of diabetes services. We started diabetes registry of Pakistan for Type 1 diabetics and in one year we got published first annual report. WHO has recognized it has also invited us to Geneva to deliver a talk on how we have established Registry in low middle income country. In SAARC countries we are developing vision 2030 for diabetes. Our PROMPT guidelines have finally been approved by the twenty two countries of MENA Region., Prof. Basit added.


 Prof. Abdul Basit along with Prof. Roberto Anichini, Dr. Zulfiqar G. Abbas Prof. Bikha Ram,
Dr. Zahid Miyan, and others inaugurating the Pharmaceutical exhibition during the two-day
NADEP Diabetes Footcon 2019 held in Karachi recently.

Former Federal Health Secretary Mr. Ayub Shaikh who was the chief guest at the occasion addressing the Participants informed that during the Diabetes Survey conducted by BIDE in collaboration with PMRC in 2016-2017 we found some villages in Pakistan where hundred percent population was living with diabetes but unfortunately none of them were aware of their disease and this surveys opened our eyes. Results if this survey demands substantial improvement in diabetes care in Pakistan. We should concentrate not only on diabetes but other non-communicable disease also and expand focus of NADEP by deliberating and establishing guidelines with the emphasis of accessible and affordable diabetes care in Pakistan. He lauded the services of Baqai Institute of Diabetes and Endocrinology (BIDE) Karachi for carrying out a comprehensive survey to ascertain the overall prevalence of diabetes in Pakistan.

Prof. Bikha Ram, Vice Chancellor Liaquat University of Medical Health Sciences (LUMHS), in his address said that amputation is number one cause of disabilities and BIDE team headed by Prof. Abdul Basit has changed the scenario by establishing foot care clinics and by creating awareness in this regards. He commended the services of Prof. Basit to control diabetes.

Dr. Zahid Miyan, Chairman of the organizing committee of the foot conference said National Association of Diabetes Educators of Pakistan (NADEP) is a unique platefrom where healthcare providers and people with diabetes work together. It is our mission to educate doctors, healthcare providers including nurses and paramedics as well as people living with diabetes so that they could be prevented from serious complications including amputations of lower limbs. “At our center, with the help of education and focus on prevention, amputation rate has decreased to four percent. We have been able to save thousands of limbs which used to be amputated but there is a need to train more doctors, healthcare providers and the people in this regard. Dr. Saif-ul-Haq moderated the session. (Report of scientific sessions to follow)

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