Birmingham is expressing concerns over limb amputations associated with diabetes

Birmingham is expressing concerns over limb amputations associated with diabetes

The Dominica Diabetes Association (DOMDA) is expressing deep concerns as it relates to the sharp increase in lower limb amputations due to diabetes.

President of DOMDA, Marvlyn Birmingham, made that declaration as she addressed the association’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) held at the Dominica Public Service Union (DPSU) building in Roseau on Thursday.

Birmingham, who presented the organization’s 2013- 2014 report, said diabetes presents an enormous health challenge to Dominica and indeed the entire world.

“Diabetic foot care has become a flagship program for the association…,” she stated. “However we must register our deep concern regarding the sharp increase in lower limb amputation. There is a disturbing increase in below ankle amputation.”

“Are we cutting instead of treating?” she questioned.

She stated that action must be taken to address the situation.

“We might say more training, but is that enough to sustain a reduction in amputations due to diabetes?” she asked.

Birmingham is suggesting that a system be put in place to facilitate “prompt” attention to “diabetic foot problem.”

Meantime she noted that indications are that younger persons are exhibiting many of the risk factors associated with Non Communicable Diseases (NCD).

“Data show an increasing rate of obesity among the youth and the onset of diabetes at a younger age than a few decades ago,” she explained. “Hence engaging the youth, although of high importance to the association, has not materialized in a meaningful way.”

She mentioned that the association has made many attempts to recruit young leaders with diabetes to participate in a special training program in order to build a NCD movement among their peers but the outcome has not been good.

“But it seems that the stigma associated with diabetes presents a barrier to the involvement of not only the youth, but also many adults in society,” she lamented.

She revealed that the International Diabetes Federation estimates that globally $382 million or 8.3 percent of all adults are currently living with the disease and this figure is expected to rise within a generation to 592 Million by the year 2035.

DOMDA is a not for profit organization registered under the company’s Act of Dominica.

The association continues to focus on promoting wellness and building self-management capacity among the population and is also committed to working collaboratively with the other organizations in the fight against Chronic Non-Communicable Diseases.

The AGM was under the Theme: “Sustaining Partnership in the Non Communicable Disease (NCD) Challenge”