A multi stakeholder workshop with the aim of improving equitable access to Diabetic Foot care services in Solomon Islands was conducted in Honiara this month.
Strategies, recommendations and action plans were developed by the stakeholders present in an attempt to address the barriers and strengthen factors that enabled service users to access the Diabetic foot Care services.
The main policy goal is to reduce the amputation rates, which require multi-sectoral approach, early intervention and good foot care.
Dr Rooney Jagilly, Head of Surgical Department at his presentation stated having a multi stakeholder workshop is crucial since it was shown that ‘diabetic foot risk assessments and foot care based on prevention, education and support by a multi-disciplinary team reduces foot complications and amputations by up to 85% (International Diabetes Federation, 2019).
“At the, National Referral Hospital (NRH), 99% of below knee amputations are secondary to diabetic foot sepsis and currently there is a rate of 2-3 amputations per week,” said Dr Jagilly.
He explained, at the multi stakeholder workshop, findings from a series of phone interviews and focus group discussions with diabetic foot care service users were presented. The interviews and focus group discussions were conducted during the month of March by a 4-member interview team, with support from Motivation Australia. Detailed interviews and focus group discussions planned for the provinces did not eventuate due to the November civil unrest and the covid-19 outbreak restrictions in the country.
“Majority of the stakeholders represented at the workshop are from the Ministry of Health and Medical Services various departments, including the National Referral Hospital (NRH) while the rest are from the Honiara City Council staff, Good Samaritan Hospital, Persons with Disability Solomon Islands (PWDSI), representatives from our churches’ women’s groups, the Solomon Islands National University (SINU), community leaders and service users.
“It was acknowledged that there other line government ministries, for example, the Ministries of Education & Human resources development, Agriculture and Infrastructure Development, who also play a crucial role in ensuring that there is equitable access to diabetic foot care services or any health services for that matter,” said Dr Jagilly.
As a summary, all participants were able to come up with some strategies or ways to strengthen the activities they have been doing in order to address some of the barriers identified in the interview process. Others were able to identify some key areas they can be consulted upon as well as some new ‘action points’ in which can be implement as either short term or long term goals.
It was noteworthy to see the various stakeholder representatives and services users engage in dialogue and starting to recognize each other’s roles and responsibilities in this fight against Non Communicable Diseases, particularly diabetes.
This multi stakeholder’s workshop and the interview processes is being supported by Motivation Australia in partnership with the Ministry of Health and Medical Services. Motivation Australia acknowledges and thanks the Government of Canada for funding this work under the Canada Fund for Local Initiatives.