The killer, invisible disease, will remain a threat until possibly a vaccine is found to end the pandemic now sweeping the world.
To-date the Solomon Islands and its people remain free from coronavirus and it reassuring that the National Referral Hospital (NRH) with assistance from partners such as Australia, New Zealand, the WHO and the People’s Republic of China (PRC) have all contributed to providing facilities, such as Isolation Wards and an Intensive Care Unit (ICU), in addition to donating medical equipment and supplies for use during long-term critical care.
While cornavirus will remain for some time an invisible killer, there is a more visible and life threatening disease that costs lives in the Solomon Islands; a disease that is putting an ever increasing burden on the NRH, the country and the health service, and a disease which, to-date has seen several hundred former patients of the NRH have lower leg amputations and who still need prosthetics or walking aids.
I am, of course, referring to diabetes.
It has been a concern of mine for many years to write about the condition and the need for proper diet, away from the trend of eating too much imported food and drink containing high levels of unwanted fat and sugar.
It has also been my repetitive call for the now demolished NRH workshop that once was used to make prosthetic limbs; to be replaced with a converted shipping container so work could re-start in making artificial legs for the more than 400 plus still waiting for a prosthetic leg.
A reader of one of my more recent articles on alleged sexual health issues that have been highlighted as an indirect result of mass migration of people back to the provinces, has suggest diabetes is a priority concern and could be better dealt with and brought under control by the use of Heberprot-P.
Heberprot-P an innovative Cuban product with EGF as the main ingredient given to patients suffering from ulcers that are non healing and non responding to other conventional treatments.
According to what I was able to find about Heberprot-P on line, it remains to be the only alternative treatment to amputation for diabetic foot ulcers. About 160,000 diabetic foot ulcer patient have been treated with Heberprot-P with success reducing the risk of amputation by 77%.
“The use of Heberprot-P for diabetic foot ulcers is said to have a significant influence on a patient’s overall quality of life in that it not only accelerates the healing process, reduces the number of surgeries needed for the removal of damaged tissue and reduces the risk of development of such complications as infections and gangrene but it also reduces risk of amputation and reduces hospitalization costs.”
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), Heberprot-P was registered in Cuba in 2006 and is now registered in 15 other countries, making it possible to treat more than 100,000 patients; applications for its registration are under review in other countries, including Brazil, China, the Russian Federation, South Africa and the Arab states of the Persian Gulf.
I do know that Heberprot-P is now being used with success in India.
Given the Solomon Islands government commitment to better health services, aided by its development partners, including of late, the PRC, I would urge the government to look into how Heberprot –P might be acquired because the need to aid patients suffering from diabetes is acute, especially since those already having open sores on their feet, might be better assisted to recovery and avoid having to have an amputation of a lower limb.
Equally, I would ask the Solomon Islands government to increase public knowledge by giving advice on sound dietary practices to reduce the incidence of non-communicable diseases the primary cause diabetes and more serious ones, including heart conditions, stroke, high blood pressure and cancer.