Diabetes Africa Foot Initiative (DAFI)

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The Diabetes Africa Foot Initiative (DAFI) is a multi-stakeholder partnership led by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) that aims to develop a comprehensive, affordable and sustainable foot-screening programme in sub-Saharan Africa. The primary objective of the project is to prevent lower extremity amputation in people with diabetes.

The African region has the fastest growth of diabetes, which will double in the next 20 years, the highest rate of undiagnosed diabetes and the highest mortality rate due to diabetes. The main problems are the late diagnosis, the severe complications due to diabetes, the high mortality rate and the poor quality of life of people with diabetes. The diabetic foot is a complication of diabetes that carries a high morbidity and mortality rate in Africa, and is increasing as the burden of diabetes continues to rise. Amputations remain high, despite intensive training of health workers in traditional preventive methods. DAFI aims to address the lack of a common, regionally accepted, sustainable and comprehensive approach for diabetic foot care in the region.

Diabetes care in Africa assumed a quality priority only recently. This important change of focus in diabetes care in Sub-Saharan Africa followed the African Declaration in 2006 in Cape Town and later the UN Resolution 61/225 in December of the same year. The African Diabetes Declaration calls on governments of African countries and all partners and stakeholders in diabetes to prevent diabetes and related chronic diseases, and to improve quality of life and reduce morbidity and premature mortality from diabetes. The UN Summit on non-communicable diseases in September 2011 marked a new era of political commitment in confronting the global diabetes epidemic and offered a new window of opportunity to develop sustainable diabetes care programmes.

DAFI is a two-phase initiative that is being implemented in ten countries: Cameroon, Ghana, Guinea, Kenya, Madagascar, Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Senegal, Tanzania and Uganda.

For more information about the Programme, please contact Dr Maïmouna N. Mbaye, Africa Diabetes Foot Care Coordinator.