Dr. Afokoghene Isiavwe, an endocrinologist and physician based in Lagos, has issued a warning about the grave risks associated with foot ulcers in persons living with diabetes mellitus. She has also stressed the importance of regular screenings for these complications and related issues in people with diabetes.
Dr. Isiavwe, who serves as the Medical Director of Rainbow Specialist Medical Centre in Lagos, emphasized the perilous nature of foot ulcers in individuals with diabetes, cautioning that inadequately managed complications stemming from diabetes could result in limb amputation or even fatalities.
Nonetheless, she highlighted that as part of their complimentary screening initiative, the hospital, which specializes in the management of diabetes and other endocrine and metabolic conditions, is providing free diabetes foot screenings for those with diabetes mellitus. This initiative is driven by concerns about the prevalence of diabetes-related complications arising from poorly managed diabetes, particularly the diabetes mellitus foot syndrome.
In an official statement, Dr. Isiavwe announced that free screenings for diabetes foot ulcers will be conducted every Tuesday in August at the hospital’s facilities in Lekki Phase 1, Lagos. She emphasized that the diabetes foot syndrome is preventable and yet tragically continues to claim the limbs and lives of affected individuals.
The statement highlighted that the prevalence of diabetes mellitus foot issues escalates in cases of inadequately managed diabetes and due to poor foot care practices and knowledge.
The statement explained: “Foot ulcers are particularly perilous in people living with diabetes, as over 80 percent of diabetic foot amputations are preceded by foot ulcers. A well-maintained foot in someone living with diabetes is therefore unlikely to require amputation. Primary prevention through regular foot screening by knowledgeable healthcare professionals can lead to early identification of high-risk diabetes feet, enabling timely intervention to prevent progression to foot ulcers.”
Given the resource constraints in the country, where many individuals with diabetes lack access to basic medications and specialized services, the statement emphasized the critical importance of primary prevention for foot ulcers.
Dr. Isiavwe invited people with diabetes to take advantage of the free diabetes foot screening and education program, also encouraging the general public to participate in the foot screening to determine their diabetes status.
She emphasized the hospital’s motivation for offering the free screening, noting the challenges faced by people with diabetes in accessing their daily medications and medical supplies. Many individuals are forced to choose between purchasing medications or providing food for their families due to financial constraints.
Dr. Isiavwe underlined that uncontrolled diabetes will lead to complications like diabetic foot ulcers, amputations, and multi-system issues, including kidney failure, blindness, nerve damage, heart disease, and stroke.
In conclusion, the statement emphasized the significance of early detection through regular foot screening and education on proper foot care practices as the most effective preventive measure. Rainbow Specialist Medical Centre has been actively involved in diabetes education workshops and capacity-building initiatives related to diabetes foot care in collaboration with various organizations.
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