18 months ago, we launched the D-Foot online profile, more or less simultaneously with the legal incorporation of the association. Since then, we have developed a number of activities, working together with key opinion leaders and volunteers from around the world. Without their commitment and guidance, D-Foot would not be where it is today. So..... Thank You! Admittedly, for the past year, we have been less active with training programmes in the regions. This is because we’ve focused our efforts in setting up a solid central structure and governance, and extending our network to like-minded and complementary international organisations. Our rationale for these actions is to strengthen our collective global impact to try to make a real difference for people with and at risk of diabetic foot.
At its meeting last January, the D-Foot Board developed an initial strategic plan. During the Implementation Forum in Brussels in April, this plan was fine-tuned together with the Advisory Committee, the Chairs of the working groups and selected Key Opinion Leaders. Industry was invited to participate in part of the sessions and provide strategic and operational input. In a third phase, in Madrid during November, the plan was presented to and validated by more than 150 Regional Representatives/Full Members of D-Foot during the first full General Assembly. Last May, we welcomed three new members to the Board: José Luis Lázaro Martínez from Spain, Zahid Miyan from Pakistan and Gulapar Srisawasdi from Thailand. José Luis was elected President-Elect last September. He will become the President of D-Foot International in May 2019.
Also in November, during World Diabetes Day, D-Foot launched its first awareness campaign: ”Focus on Feet”.
Footnote, the D-Foot electronic newsletter, has increased its readership base to more than 2500 foot specialists around the world. Our first “special issue” focusing upon debridement will close D-Foot International activity this year.
To date, D-Foot is represented by 189 National Representatives/Full Members from more than 150 countries. In collaboration with the International Federation of Podiatrists (FIP-IFP), D-Foot developed The POINT Project, a competency framework for podiatry, to boost podiatry care at a global level and hopefully facilitate podiatry training where there is none. We joined forces with leading stakeholder organisations: American Diabetes Association (ADA), International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), International Society of Prosthetics and Orthotestics (ISPO), IWGDF Guidance, International Diabetes Foot Care Group (IDFCG), “Undefeeted” and Université Numérique Mondiale Francophone (UNMF).
We are grateful for the support of an increasing number of corporate partners, without whose help it would be impossible to deliver our mission.
The Fast-Track Diabetic Foot Pathway tool to train general practitioners has been developed and is being well received. UNFM has partnered with D-Foot to translate the training package in French, insodoing creating a powerful north-south dialogue for French-speaking countries. December saw yet another Train-the-Foot-Trainer course. This time, more than 50 participants from French-speaking African countries participated in an intense training course in Marrakesh, centred on education and organisational background to roll out diabetic foot care in their own countries, contributing to creating sustainable, standardised diabetic foot care.
At the D-Foot Implementation Summit, another ambitious new project was initiated: ”putting another man on the moon”. More about this later..... Suspense!
Kristien Van Acker