Increasing access to better foot care for diabetes patients in Kerala, India
Kerala is one of the states in India with the highest prevalence of diabetes. Diabetes is not just a burden in itself but it also includes diabetes-related complications. Foot ulceration is the most common – studies show that 15-25% of diabetes patients will develop a foot ulcer in their lifetime. Awareness of diabetes foot complications is low among people suffering from diabetes in India. Barefoot walking risks development of foot ulcers and wearing inappropriate or poor quality footwear increases the risk of trauma and subsequent ulceration. In Kerala there is a gap between the high prevalence/high risk of diabetes foot ulcers and a low awareness / inadequate diabetes foot care, and this gap needs to be bridged.
The project will contribute to the prevention of diabetes foot ulcers and enhance access to diabetic foot care in Kerala, India.
To improve the access to diabetes foot care in Kerala the project will enhance the capacity of health care personnel working with diabetes patients, establish a mobil unit with foot screening equipment and strengthen the referral of diabetes patients with diabetes foot ulcers for treatment.
A number of doctors, surgeons and nurses from all 14 districts in Kerala will receive traning in order to enhance their capacity to prevent and manage diabetes foot complications.
A one year certificate course in podiatry and wound care will also be establish to ensure the availability of podiatrists to manage diabetes foot complications in the future.
In order to increase the awareness of diabetes and diabetes foot complications all relevant stakeholders will be sensitised and diabetes awareness and screening camps will be held across Kerala for patients diagnosed with diabetes in particular and the community at large.
In order to prevent further foot ulcers and assist diabetes patients with ulcers, access to appropriate footwear needs to be strengthened and the project will establish a low cost diabetes footwear manufacturing unit.
• 56 general practitioners, 28 physicians/surgeons, and 400 nurses trained in prevention and management of diabetes foot complications
• 84 clinics providing diabetes care strengthened in providing diabetes foot care services
• 40 nurses graduated from one-year podiatry course and wound care and serving across Kerala
• 19,200 diabetes patients reached with information on diabetes foot complications and screened for diabetes foot complications
• 3,840 feet at risk identified and patients referred for treatment if needed
• 4,800 patients seen by podiatrist yearly
• One self-sustainable footwear modification unit established and 2,800 diabetes patients provided with special footwear