Islamabad - Around 0.15 to 0.2 million people lose their lower limbs every year in the country due to complications related todiabetes, health experts said on Saturday.

During a three-day Nadep Foot Conference, diabetologists discussed reasons behind soaring number of diabetic patients in the country.

“Majority of diabetics who lose their lower limbs are dead within five years of amputations, and the mortality among diabetics following amputations is higher than women with breast cancer,” said Prof Abdul Aziz.

Experts from different countries of the world including Europe, Africa, and various countries are attending the foot conference and conducting workshops on management of diabetes in Pakistan, prevention of amputations due to diabetes and educating masses to prevent amputations in the country.

The number of diabetics has alarmingly increased in Pakistan during last two decades. According to a new survey, around 35 million Pakistanis are diabetics, which mean that every 4th Pakistani above the age of 20 is a diabetic.

Prof Nather from Singapore warned that diabetes and amputations caused by diabetes is a mortal disease but claimed that in the modern world, amputations had been prevented and now only two per cent people in the modern world lose their limbs due to integrated care, 90 per cent of the amputations can be prevented.

He advised the people diagnosed with diabetes to take good care of themselves, eat a healthy diet as per recommendations of their dieticians, regularly take their medicines and improve their lifestyle by doing daily exercise.

“Now specially designed footwear is available also in Pakistan with people with diabetes, who should use specially designed shoes and also take care of their feet”, he advised.

Catherine Steer, another clinical consultant from South Africa advised people with diabetes to daily inspect their feet while taking shower or sleeping, saying any anomaly or change in the foot should be brought to the notice of the physician so that proper treatment could be started immediately.

She maintained that people with diabetes should control their sugar with medicines, diet, and exercise and regularly visit their doctor so that their limbs could be prevented from foot ulcers, and advised people with diabetes to use specially-designed footwear to take good care of their feet.

On the occasion, she apprised local doctors and paramedics as to how they should treat foot ulcers and how dressings should be done to prevent injured and diseased foot from amputation by applying topical medicine and giving oral medicines including antibiotics.

Another eminent diabetologist and Director of Baqai Institute of Diabetology and Endocrinology Prof Abdul Basit said educating the diabetes patient was a must to help them in living a normal life and preventing them from permanent disabilities.