From The Saudi Ministry of Health: 20 Diabetic Foot Centers to Open, Nationwide

From the Arab News:

JEDDAH: The Ministry of Health (MOH) is opening foot clinics at each of the 20 diabetic centers it operates across Saudi Arabia.

“As the incidence of diabetes is increasing, the threat of diabetic complications is also growing. Diabetic foot ulcers are among the most common and serious complications of diabetes and if untreated can lead to amputation and severe lifestyle consequences for patients and their families,” Dr. Khaled A. Abdulrahman Tayeb, consultant diabetologist and endocrinologist and director of diabetes and endocrinology center at Al-Nour Specialist Hospital, Makkah, said at the first MOH Diabetic Foot Academy which opened at Crowne Plaza Hotel on Monday.

According to the World Health Organization, the number of diabetes patients in Saudi Arabia is expected to grow by 283 percent by 2030 due to changes in lifestyle and diet leading to increasing levels of obesity. Heart disease and diabetes are two of the main causes of death in the Kingdom, which has the second highest rate of diabetes in the GCC after the United Arab Emirates.

Tayeb said that the Middle East and North Africa was one of the regions most affected by diabetes with a prevalence rate of 25 to 35 percent among the adult population.

Due to cultural, social, educational and climate factors, the incidence of lower limb lesions, including foot ulcers, among diabetic patients is very high — affecting about 50 percent of all diabetic patients. Twenty-five percent of Saudis are victims of diabetes.

Lack of appropriate foot-care and exposure of the foot — for example by wearing sandals — can contribute to the development of foot ulcers among diabetics and these can quickly lead to serious problems, including the need to amputate, said professor Gerit D. Mulder, director of the Wound Treatment and Research Center and professor of surgery of the trauma division at the University of California.

Mulder, who was the principal lecturer at the DFA, explained latest diabetes management techniques and shared solutions for the serious and growing problem of diabetic foot ulcer complications.

The three-day DFA, a new educational initiative by Smith & Nephew, focuses on the advanced management of lower limb lesions in diabetic patients being attended by physicians and surgeons from across the Kingdom.

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