Bajans Losing A Limb A Day

Almost one person a day in Barbados is losing a limb because of diabetes.

This startling statistic was revealed by Chief Operations Officer of the Barbados Diabetes Foundation, Simone McConney, during a telephone interview with the Barbados Advocate yesterday. McConney revealed that although most of the amputations were injury-related, Barbadians needed to be better educated about the disease, with foot care education being amongst one of the most important topics.

“Injuries do play a major role in most of the amputations, but what is of foremost importance is the fact the Barbadians need to be better educated about the effects of diabetes and how they can take better care of themselves.

“Diabetics need to know the importance of foot care and what needs to be done to ensure that they do not lose their limbs. Some persons are not coming to terms with the fact that they have diabetes, which in turn leads to poor management of the disease, and then eventually to loss of sensations in their limbs, loss of blood and then eventually they end up losing the limb.

“Diabetics have to take better care of themselves, because most of the injuries are incurred by nail punctures and by not wearing the proper footwear,” she outlined.

The Diabetes Foundation official explained that Type 2 Diabetes, also known as Maturity Onset Diabetes, was the most prevalent in Barbados, with persons over the age of 40 being those most affected. In the wake of the recent increase in amputations, she highlighted that the Barbados Diabetes Foundation had launched a ‘Step By Step’ programme to help in educating the Barbadian public about the disease and how best it could be treated.

“We have launched the ‘Step by Step’ programme in collaboration with Esso, and through this programme we are hoping to sensitize Barbadians and help to educate them as much as possible about diabetes.

“We have come to realise that most people tend to dwell on the amputee, more so than on the prevention of the amputation, and because of this we are trying to raise awareness as it relates to the disease.

“What we have also noticed is that there has also been an increase in obesity in Barbados, and this is also having an impact on the amount of Barbadians who are being diagnosed with diabetes, and it is only through educating the general public that we will be able to raise awareness and point people in the right way as to how they can properly treat their diabetes,” she revealed.


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