"Step by Step" toward amputation reduction: training in worldwide "hotspots"

‘Step by Step’ diabetes
foot care training starts

PHILIPSBURG–St. Maarten took a giant step forward in its diabetes care on Sunday when the “Step by Step” diabetes foot care training programme was introduced.

Step by Step is a diabetic foot care education programme aimed at training health care providers to become certified diabetic foot care assistants. “The goal is to improve diabetic foot care in St. Maarten,” Diabetes Foundation of St. Maarten explained.

The programme is divided into two phases: one year for the basic course and an advanced course in the compulsory second year.

Following the basic intense three-day course, participants will have to report on their experiences and complete assignments throughout the first year.

The local faculty consists of general surgeon Dr. Felix Holiday, who will present an assessment of the foot care situation in St. Maarten and the need for the Step by Step Programme, and Internal Medicine specialist Dr. Theo Jolles, who will discuss the topic “Own country perspective on infection and treatment.”

Also a member of the faculty is general practitioner Dr. Sonia Swanston, who will discuss the differentiation between neuropathic and neuro-ischemic foot problems.

Other subjects such as what goes wrong with the diabetic foot, painful feet diagnosis, management, history taking and record keeping, a practical session on callus removal, workshop sessions on examining the foot that include the use of a tuning fork and monofilament, and live practical demonstrations of wound care on patients will be conducted by an international faculty comprising Belgian Doctor of Internal Medicine Dr. Kristien van Acker; United Kingdom podiatrist Neil Baker and Slovenian Professor Dr. Vilma Urbancic.

The six participants from St. Maarten and Statia were drawn from St. Martin’s Home, St. Maarten Medical Center (SMMC), White and Yellow Cross Foundation, a wound care nurse from Statia, two physical therapists and one medical pedicurist.

“With this course at least basic foot care will become available to the diabetic community and others in St. Maarten. Taking into consideration the urgent strained economic times, receiving the much-needed Step by Step Diabetic Foot Care project entirely free of charge is a true gift for which all of us should be more than grateful,” the foundation said.

Copyright ©2008 The Daily Herald St. Maarten
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