There are between two to three amputations each week at the National Referral Hospital (NRH) on those suffering from diabetes, a workshop was told this week.
Dr. Rooney Jagilly, Head of Surgical Department of the NRH revealed this numbers during a workshop for improved equitable access to Diabetic Foot Care successfully held in Honiara.
“At the National Referral Hospital (NRH), 99% of below knee amputations are secondary to diabetic foot sepsis and currently there is a rate of 2-3 amputations per week,” said Dr Jagilly.
He explained at the multi stakeholder workshop, findings from a series of phone interviews and focus group discussions with diabetic foot care service users were presented. The interviews and focus group discussions were conducted during the month of March by a 4-member interview team, with support from Motivation Australia. Detailed interviews and focus group discussions planned for the provinces did not eventuate due to the November civil unrest and the covid-19 outbreak restrictions in the country.
Dr Jagilly stated that having a multi stakeholder workshop is crucial since it was shown that ‘diabetic foot risk assessments and foot care based on prevention, education and support by a multi-disciplinary team reduces foot complications and amputations by up to 85% (International Diabetes Federation, 2019).
The main policy goal of the workshop was to reduce the amputation rates, which require multi-sectoral approach, early intervention and good foot care.
Majority of the stakeholders represented at the workshop are from the Ministry of Health and Medical Services various departments, including the National Referral Hospital (NRH) while the rest are from the Honiara City Council staff, Good Samaritan Hospital, Persons with Disability Solomon Islands (PWDSI), representatives from our churches’ women’s groups, the Solomon Islands National University (SINU), community leaders and service users.
Dr Jagilly acknowledged that there are other line government ministries, for example, the Ministries of Education & Human resources development, Agriculture and Infrastructure Development, who also play crucial roles in ensuring that there is equitable access to diabetic foot care services or any health services for that matter.
As a summary, all participants were able to come up with some strategies or ways to strengthen the activities they have been doing in order to address some of the barriers identified in the interview process. Others were able to identify some key areas they can be consulted upon as well as some new ‘action points’ in which can be implemented as either short term or long term goals.
Photo Caption: Group photo – participants at the Multi Stakeholders workshop.