By Jordana Bieze foster
As the International Working Group on the Diabetic Foot (IWGDF) undergoes a transition in leadership, the organization is reporting significant progress in implementing its Train the Foot Trainer (TtFT) program in Central and South America.
TtFT courses teach participants in developing countries how to set up their own versions of the IWGDF’s Step by Step programs to train practitioners and educators about preventing diabetic foot ulcers and related amputations.
The first TtFT course was held in Brazil in December 2012, and a second course was held in June 2013 in Tobago.
As of December 2013, 80% of countries in the region had started national training programs, 666 people had been trained, and 111 new foot clinics had been established. As of March 2014, the region could boast 1103 trainees, and 87% of its countries had active national training programs.
The figures were presented in March at the Diabetic Foot Global Conference by new IWGDF chair Kristien L. Van Acker, MD, PhD, a diabetologist and consultant at the Tropical Institute of Antwerp in Belgium. Van Acker succeeded longtime chair Karel Bakker, MD, PhD, in December 2013.
The IWGDF plans to expand the TtFT program to Europe and Africa in 2015, Van Acker said.