The project will be carried out under the umbrella of the Rotary Club of Liamuiga and according to a press release issued by that organisation, the four specialists will be visiting St. Kitts Nevis from 1st April to 3rd April.
During their visit, they would be working with local medical practitioners and other health care personnel in workshops and hands-on training sessions. They will then return in one year to assess the success and complete the training programme. Over the course of the year the Rotary Club of Liamuiga will be active in ensuring records of visits are completed.
This three-day mission is the second of its kind to St. Kitts & Nevis and is financed by a Matching Grant from Rotary International (RI) sponsored by the Rotary Clubs of Lichfield St. Chad, Ledbury and Liamuiga. The grant affords the travel of the four-member delegation as well as their accommodation and all materials required to do the training.
A formal opening ceremony at the JNF General Hospital on April 1st is expected to have remarks from Dr Hazel Williams-Roberts, Director of Community Health Services as well as brief remarks by President Eustace Warner of the Rotary Club of Liamuiga. Chief Medical Officer, Dr Patrick Martin will present the opening remarks.
Local Coordinator of the two-day programme and Medical Chief of Staff, Dr Cameron Wilkinson, said the visit of the team was timely given the growing number of diabetes cases locally, over the last several years. “When one considers that 50 to 80 percent of legs can be saved with proper education of diabetic sufferers and timely intervention, we view this training as critical in the care of our diabetic patients,” he added. Citing statistics, he said between 1997 and 2007 there were 285 amputations in St. Kitts & Nevis, or an average of 29 per year. “This foot care project we hope will provide education to the community and in particular caregivers, so that over time we can see a decrease in our amputation rate,” he concluded.
The Caribbean Diabetic foot care programme has been widely successful in other parts of the Caribbean since the first foot care project was started in Tobago in 2006 by the Rotary Club of Ledbury in England. In 2008 the international Diabetes Federation (IDF) merged their programme with the UK Rotary clubs and now provide all the volunteer training staff. The Rotary Club of Liamuiga is the host club and the Rotary Club of Lichfield St Chad is the lead and major funding partner aided by the Rotary Club of Ledbury.
(Parts of this article were written with content incorporated from a Rotary Club of Liamuiga press release)