Diabetic Foot Unit in Dakar

In December 2019, the Belgian Abbey of Chimay donated € 15,000 to D-Foot International to use for ‘Projet Sénégal’, to benefit diabetic foot activities in French-speaking Africa. A diabetic foot centre and training facility is being set up.

Maïmouna Ndour Mbaye, the National Representative of Senegal and D-Foot Regional Chair for Africa, advised that she wished to expand her diabetes centre in Dakar, Senegal, where the funding could be utilised to purchase equipment and materials to benefit diabetic foot training of healthcare professionals in the region. 

The centre is collaborating with the school of Podiatry in Ghent, Belgium, who sends 2-3 podiatry students to the centre in Dakar every year to provide hands-on training workshops. Equipment and materials are needed to set up a ‘podiatry unit’ to facilitate this training event. 

Maïmouna identified and sourced the relevant equipment needed. D-Foot donated 250 Semmes Weinstein Sensory Testing Monofilaments 5.07/10g and 250 D-Foot International lapel pins to support the project. Every healthcare professional trained to use a monofilament at her centre would be given a D-Foot pin to signify their successful training in this test.

One objective of the project is to train 50 healthcare professionals from the French-speaking African Region in Senegal, Mali, Gabon and Guinea how to carry out an evidenced-based ‘monofilament testing’ according to IWGDF guidelines by June 2021.

Another objective is to teach the participants about the correct use of podiatry equipment and materials in a safe and effective manner. Each of the 50 trainees would train 5 more healthcare professionals in turn, which embodies the D-Foot philosophy of ‘Train the Foot Trainer’.

Outcome and benefit 

The project supports evidenced-based practice. It includes podiatric skills and training in patient care to produce better treatment outcomes, and helps ensure people with diabetic foot disease have access to a monofilament test to detect the absence of protective sensation to their feet.

The long-term benefit is the earlier identification of feet with ‘loss of protective sensation’ and the earlier treatment of non-ulcerative foot pathologies.