Bengaluru: India has the second-highest diabetic population in the world, with about 74 million diabetics in 2021. Globally, diabetic foot ulcers are one of the leading causes of death, next only to lung cancer. For various reasons, diabetic foot care is one of the most neglected aspects of diabetic complications in India. Diabetes foot disease is one of the common, devastating, but preventable complications of diabetes mellitus.
To create awareness amongst the clinicians and the population about the gravity of the disease, a campaign was launched by Dr Sanjay Sharma, Founder of FootSecure and Secretary of the Indian Podiatry Association, Karnataka. It is aimed at creating awareness of diabetic foot disease among the general public as well as educating clinicians on early diagnosis and effective treatment.
Under the programme “Project Safe Feet-Safe Ride,” the awareness and screening campaign were launched on Saturday (March 26). It was virtually inaugurated by Mr. Randeep D, IAS, Commissioner, Department of Health and Family Welfare Services, Government of Karnataka, at the Karnataka Institute of Endocrinology and Research. The event is part of a larger symposium on the subject being held in the city in the presence of Dr Indumathi, Director, Directorate of Health and Family Welfare Services, Dr HV Rangaswamy, Deputy Director, NCD, Dr Ravi, Director, KIER, and Dr Bhaskar Rajkumar of BBMP.
In India, it is estimated that nearly 37 million people have diabetic foot conditions, which often result in numbness, tingling or burning sensations, muscle weakness, and pain. Mr. Randeep said that on an average, 14 lakh Indians undergo leg amputations annually. And, 80% of the cases could have been prevented with podiatry and timely intervention.
The Commissioner said that Karnataka is at the forefront of diabetic management by maintaining a diabetic registry, being the first in the country to have an exclusive government diabetic hospital and the first in the country to have a podiatry department in a government set up. FootSecure’s awareness campaign would cover all 31 districts, 300 clinics, and 3 lakh people in towns and villages, he said.
Dr. Sanjay Sharma said that the diabetic foot is currently being inappropriately managed, leading to amputations, which can be prevented through podiatric interventions. Podiatry, a speciality in medicine that deals exclusively with the diagnosis and treatment of disorders of the foot and ankle, is not a part of the curriculum in Indian medical colleges. “We would like to create awareness so that doctors treating diabetes can prevent diabetic foot disease, as well as refer them in time to specialists when necessary,” he added.
From March 27 onwards, FootSecure is organising a series of awareness talks, workshops, and webinars across medical colleges and district hospitals in Karnataka, and also has a series of screening and awareness camps for the diabetic population.
In the next phase, which is going to commence on September 9, a team of doctors will ride across 31 districts of Karnataka to create awareness and screening. Opportunities will be provided for those who are interested in participating.
Those from the medical fraternity who wish to volunteer for the campaign may reach Dr Sanjay Sharma at firstname.lastname@example.org
City Today News