USP Lautoka Campus

USP Lautoka Campus

World Diabetes Symposium

The World Diabetes Day symposium jointly organised by University of the South Pacific Lautoka Campus and the Foundation for Rural Integrated Enterprises & Development on 13th November, 2019 heard that much more support needs to be tendered to people becoming disabled due to diabetes.

Speaking at the event at the USP Lautoka Campus Founding Director for FRIEND Sashi Kiran pointed out that they had put disability as the main focus of the symposium with the theme “Diabetes, Disabilities and Support Systems”. She stressed that the reason why they had disability as the focal point is because hundreds of people in Fiji become disabled due to diabetic amputations and their life journey becomes totally unbearable.

She pointed out that the Pacific Leaders Forum in 2011 declared Non- Communicable Disease crisis in Fiji and other neighbouring Pacific Island countries. But the worst scenario is that Fiji percentage wise tops the death toll rate due to diabetes in the whole world.

There are three amputations in a day and 15 in a week due to diabetes apart from disabilities caused by other diseases such as stroke. Access to hospitals for diabetic patients with amputations has become quite difficult and expensive, Ms Kiran highlighted.

Specialist Physician and Dermatologist Dr. Sakiusa Mainawalala pointed out that the worse scenario for diabetic patients with disabilities is the fact that they are abandoned by their loved ones who see them as a burden. Dr. Mainawalala emphasized that with proper care people with diabetic disabilities can also live a very long life. We need to have amenities for the disables as they deserve the same right as any normal person.

People with diabetic disabilities also deserve the same social networking rather than being totally abandoned at their homes. The mind-set that people with amputations cannot walk so they cannot be part of any function has to be changed,” he stressed.

Dr Ajesh Sen from Lautoka Diabetes Hub Centre informed that they are trying to assist amputees with prosthetic legs and other facilities to make movement bit easier. However, Dr Sen revealed that the demand for prosthetic legs is much higher than what the medical authorities are currently providing. For now we are trying on patient compliance hence how frequently patients come to us, how frequently we can visit them and try to do damage control. There is always an issue of resources but we are trying our best.

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Page updated: Sunday, May 17, 2020
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