David G. Armstrong, Professor of Surgery and Director of the Southern Arizona Limb Salvage Alliance (SALSA) at the University of Arizona College of Medicine keynoted a standing room only crowd of more than 500 physicians, surgeons and nurses from throughout the Middle East at the inaugural Dubai International Diabetic Foot Symposium. Armstrong noted, “To see this level of enthusiasm at a medical symposium– particularly one that is in its first year– is a testament not only to the organizers of the meeting, but to the seriousness of the disease.” The symposium, which coincides with World Diabetes Day Events, was organized by the Health Ministry of Dubai as well as the leading hospital in the region, Rashid Medical Center. Armstrong continued “To be present with so many policy makers and caregivers is a privilege. To see that health ministries in some of the countries hardest hit by diabetes are paying attention to a problem that has been so long ignored offers real hope for a problem that is eminently treatable and preventable.” The UAE has the highest rate of diabetes and obesity in the region and the second highest rate of diabetes in the world, behind only the tiny Pacific island nation of Nauru.
Caption: David G. Armstrong, Professor of Surgery and Director, SALSA with (far left) Marwan Al Zarouni, Director of Plastic Surgery, Rashid Hospital and Course Chair with Ministry of Health Officials at Diabetic Foot Symposium