A special type of footwear aimed at preventing amputations and other disease-related complications in diabetics is being offered at a remote village in India's State of Tamil Nadu, courtesy a hospital initiative.
For most patients who visited the "Diabetes Amputation Prevention Initiative in the Community (DAPIC)" programme at Maragal Kandigai village out of mere curiosity, the special shoes came as a boon. DAPIC seeks to prevent diabetic foot amputations in the State.
Every year four million people across the globe get foot ulcer and one in every six people with diabetes develops a foot complication, according to doctors. People with diabetes are 40 times more likely to undergo lower leg amputation.
Mani, a 50-year-old diabetic, was shod in a special pair of shoes designed by M.V. Hospital for Diabetes and Diabetes Research Centre. It was also the first time he wore footwear in his life!
After an initial screening, patients like Mani were diagnosed with diabetes with different stages of complications in the foot. None of the visiting villagers had ever worn footwear in their lives.
Some villagers were regular participants at the local fire-walking festival, consequently, their feet were in a bad shape.
In Mani's case, undiagnosed diabetes had resulted in numbness and reduced blood circulation in his feet. Doctors found that this complication, combined with a general lack of hygiene, could lead to an infection and perhaps amputation.
"DAPIC will run for a minimum of three years and cover 20 villages," said project leader Vijay Viswanathan.
The Chinmaya Mission and the Tamil Nadu Government are backing the DAPIC project, whose main focus is on foot care education. More than 200 patients have already been examined through the DAPIC project.
--Indo-Asian News Service