Diabetes related mortality rates and major foot amputations have been reduced by over a third at Mafraq Hospital, United Arab Emirates (UAE), after a collaborative project with the University of Salford, UAE.
The hospital’s former Consultant Vascular Surgeon, Professor Mo Baguneid, says data shows that in 2013 Mafraq Hospital had a 38 per cent risk reduction in hospital mortality and major amputation rates for diabetic foot emergencies.
Diabetes is a serious health issue in Abu Dhabi and across the UAE. By 2020, it is estimated 32 per cent of the country’s adult population will have diabetes or be in the pre-diabetes stage. The problem is so widespread the country’s health authorities have made diabetic care a top political priority.
One of the most common complications of diabetes is complex foot infections. These can range from Cellulitis and deep-skin and soft-tissue damage to more serious conditions like acute and chronic Osteomyelitis.
Acute and chronic Osteomyelitis can lead to serious medical problems such as severe ulceration of the foot which, in extreme cases, can culminate in amputation.
Prof Baguneid, said: ‘Complicated diabetic foot infections are common within the Middle East and in particular the outcome of late presentations is devastating.’
The Hospital has been working with the University of Salford for over a year, culminating in the University producing a report recommending ways to enhance the hospital’s diabetic foot, vascular and ultrasound services.
The University has vast expertise in the area, with a long history of excellence in musculoskeletal research and training. The report team was led by Professor Susan Braid who has been Head of The School of Health Sciences at the University for the past 10 years.
Mafraq Hospital has also established a specialised Diabetic Foot Team (DFT) which will be working to implement the recommendations of the report. It has recruited two UK trained podiatrists and two vascular technologists.
In 2016, Mafraq will open more than 700 new beds catering for outpatients, many of whom will be living with diabetes.
The University of Salford, UAE has also developed a new Masters-level module on ‘Care of the Diabetic Foot’ which will be delivered in country.
However, Prof Baguneid added: ‘Much more needs to be done and continued collaboration with the University of Salford is seen to be important for both quality assurance as well as for developing collaborative research proposals.’
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