Diabetes footcare centre opens at Khurda DHH

With the diabetic foot complications assuming alarming proportions, thanks to lack of awareness and under diagnosis, the Kanungo Institute of Diabetes Specialities is all set to establish Diabetes Footcare Centres in the district headquarter hospitals (DHH) of the State to address such problems.

The first of the centres became operational at the DHH, Khurda, on Tuesday. The centres would be gradually put in place at Cuttack, Jagatsinghpur, Keonjhar, Sambalpur and Ganjam. The six districts have been included in the ‘Institutional empowerment for diabetic footcare’ pilot programme initiated by KIDS in partnership with World Diabetes Foundation, Cuttack Diabetes Research Foundation and the State Government.

The centres would not only act as referral centres for addressing diabetic foot complications but also creating awareness on the importance of foot-care among the diabetics. They will be manned by a multi-disciplinary team. Besides dealing with complications, the centres will screen people with diabetic foot conditions to pitch in with necessary interventions. The centres would also educate and empower Asha and Anganwadi workers to educate people and detect foot problems among the people. They would also sensitise people on proper management and care of their foot by wearing suitable footwear and recognising the symptoms early.

Odisha has a very high diabetes incidence with an estimated diabetic population of more than 42 lakh. Around one fourth of them will develop diabetic foot ulcer.

“The situation in Odisha is of more concern as general awareness on diabetic footcare, detection of complications at early stages and treatment are seriously lacking. Diabetes accounts for 40 to 70 per cent of all lower extremity amputations. The problem is compounded by the fact that majority of the amputees are from the lower strata, who are pushed to the poverty zone due to physical disability,” chairman and chief diabetologist of KIIDS Dr Alok Kanungo said.

The pilot project also involves launch of Footcare Express, to complement the footcare centres in the districts. The Express will be functional within six months of the project implementation.

It would be a mobile unit visiting different pockets of the district for educating the people as well as screening people for diabetic foot complications. It will be equipped with a foot lab to diagnose complications and a minor operation theatre to treat small problems at the doorsteps. Those with major complications will be screened and referred to the district referral centres, Dr Kanungo said.

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