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D-Foot International organised the 7th Train the Foot Trainer program in Chennai, India between Feb 9 – 12, 2023

Quality education goes a long way when it comes to significantly reducing the number of lower-limb amputations due to diabetes. One of D-Foot’s main projects is training foot experts around the world how to set up education programmes for local primary care professionals and other foot specialists.

Each Train-the-Foot-Trainer course trains up to 50 participants in foot care best practice, teaching methodology and how to set up a diabetic foot centre. Graduates then go out and train thousands of doctors and nurses in their own regions.

The benefit for the hundreds of thousands of people with diabetes who may no longer have to worry about amputation is incalculable.

The last Train-the-Foot-Trainer course was organised in Abu Dhabi, UAE, from 18-22 January 2020.

Glimpse of 7th Train the Foot Trainer programme held in Chennai, India from 9 to 12, February 2023

Report of the Train-the-Foot-Trainer Middle East, Abu Dhabi, 18-22 January 2020

by William A. Akiki

D-Foot International did it once again!

The 6th Train-the-Foot-Trainer course was held in Abu Dhabi from the 18th to 22nd of January 2020. The emirate warmly welcomed more than 50 participants from all the MENA region: Egypt, Sudan, Palestine, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Iran, Pakistan, UAE, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Oman and also observers from Romania, Somalia, India, China and Australia surrounded by an international and regional faculty all internationally recognised experts in their fields.

Despite the sensitive/critical situation the MENA region is going through this event took place.  Thanks to the tremendous efforts of José Luis Lázaro Martínez, President of D-Foot International; Kristien van Acker, Programme Lead and Immediate Past-President; Zahid Miyan, Course Director and Regional Chair; and our local host Gulnaz Tariq, President of WUWHS and IIWCG, without forgetting all those who intensively worked in the backstage and of course all the sponsors. Also a big thank you to Christian Jérôme, President FIP-IFP, and Caroline Teugels, Executive Director FIP-IFP, for their presence and their highly appreciated input to the course.

The beautiful opening ceremony orchestrated by Zahid Miyan, followed by the President and the programme lead speeches, the regional faculty welcoming the delegates to introduce themselves and talk about the diabetic foot status in their respective countries in a very casual and fun ambience that broke the ice and put everybody comfortable for the start of a full schedule, theoretical and practical, program.

At the lunch break of the first day some stated their confusion, others were asking : “What are we doing here?“ and many were happy because they immediately felt that this course was different.

Despite those mixed feelings among the delegates we saw them energetically participating to the workshops and attentively following the lectures searching for everything new they could learn even during the industry symposium where nobody left the room showing a lot of commitment.

This commitment was transformed into dedication starting the second day when they got into more advanced topics where the workshops were very animated and more questions were emerging after the lectures making the moderators’ tasks harder but they all managed pretty well to keep the time slots and receive the patients for the Live Cases Presentations on time.

The happy and enthusiast faces showed the same dedication on the third day and the delegates wanted more! There was a great interaction between the delegates and the faculty, and delegates were eager to ask many questions as the content was going in greater details and depth.

This interest escalated on the last day at the Meet the Experts session where the faculty was overwhelmed by questions as delegates were asking for specific guidance and directions. 

We had at this point three of the delegates, vascular surgeons, who changed hats and joined the faculty as vascular experts showing once again what the Train the Trainers concept is all about.

The faculty was amazing; they gave enough time to all the delegates, always with a smile. They shared unconditionally their knowledge, gave the right advice and were always looking to find an adapted solution for every specific issue the delegates were facing in their respective countries.

Thanks again to the entire international and regional faculty; they took time off from their clinics to invest it genuinely for the preparation and delivery of the course. 

Yes, they are all in the heart of the great success of this course!

Alongside the course, a MENA regional council on the diabetic foot was established, which was attended by the President of D-Foot International, Prof. José Luis Lázaro Martínez. This council will set roles and responsibilities and establish the priorities for the region.

After those few days, everything changed:

The confusion was replaced by “now I know what to do”. 

The question “what am I doing here” was replaced with “I am happy I stayed till the end of this course because now my whole concept changed and I understand better what it is all about”.

Above all, the one comment I liked most was “Now I can make the difference”.

Happiness and satisfaction were also shown by the observers. They expressed a wish for a similar course to be delivered in their home country as they appreciated the importance of training to improve diabetic foot care. 

Two of the observers commented: “Now we know the importance of what you are doing!”; “We want to help you again in future courses”.

In the end, when the certificates were distributed, and some were dancing under the rhythms of the great Arabic music, the president closed the course on a very positive note 

“Thank you, everybody, thank you, Kristien, this was the best ever Train the Foot Trainer of all the six editions”

It was the end of several days where professionalism and fun mixed perfectly. The beginning of a long journey was marked for every delegate as they all will “Make the difference”.