There is scope for Barbados to create its own prosthetic limbs to fit many amputees on the island.
This observation was made by the President of the Barbados Diabetes Foundation, Dr. Oscar Jordan, who noted that while this may be a long way in coming, such a facility could assist in the rehabilitation of amputees, recognising that there are over 200 amputations performed annually in Barbados.
"We've had volunteers coming down from Canada who have helped with our prosthetic programme and that is something that we want to develop further.#160 We need to develop our own prosthetic department where artificial limbs can be constructed, fitted and people can be trained how to use them," he said.
"For those patients who live five years and beyond, it is an important need to ambulant rather than sitting down and being pushed around in a wheelchair, to have an artificial imb which they can use effectively.#160 It gives a great degree of independence and that is so important to thier lifestyle and standard of living."
He said if such a programme were to be established on the island, the requisite infrastructure would first have to be in place. "There would also be a need to train individuals who would be responsible for conducting the programme.#160 And then we would need to look at the materials and the labour cost. This is a programme that has to be worked out, we haven't worked it out as yet, but it is an important figure to know and it is something that we are working to try to achieve some answers." he assured.
#160Dr. Jordan noted that Professor Anselm Hennis has looked at the matter of wearing uncomformatble shoes an has related this to the incidence of calluses, which lead to gangrene and subsequently the incidence of amputation in diabetic patients.
In addition there are certain risk factors which you can not change.#160 Males suffer more than females in this regard.#160 Cigarette smoke is a terrible additive to the toxic mix.#160 It causes narrowing and thickening#160of the vessels and implementation of those simple messages may well have a significant effect," he stated.
#160Story adapted from the Barbados Advocate