The Department of Podiatry at the University of Johannesburg (UJ) saw Fourth year Podiatry students and staff helping community members with foot related problems including foot washing, foot health assessments and providing basic foot care education on 11 March and 12 March 2017 in Lenesia and Klipspruit, Johannesburg.
According to Ms Meesha Purbhoo, Lecturer: Podiatry, “With the rise in the number of non-communicable diseases globally and in South Africa, it is safe to assume that there will be a rise in associated complications from these diseases, particularly in the foot and lower limb. She said. “Therefore screening and educating patients on the disease and its complications related to the foot and lower limb could contribute to the Governments national strategic planning on prevention and control of these disease.”
Podiatry is a specialist field that focuses on improving the overall health and well-being of patients in the assessment, diagnosis and treatment of disorders affecting the foot and lower-limb. Podiatrists provide pain relief from foot deformities, injuries and wounds through palliative means, minor surgery or through the prescription of foot orthoses to re-align foot or leg imbalances.
“These screenings have allowed the Faculty to contribute to the community engagement drive in Johannesburg. In providing quality screening and foot education services to communities for the improvement of foot health and ultimately quality of life it also exposes our students to the needs of these communities,” said Ms Purbhoo.
“While an event focusing on foot issues for the community may seem unusual we were humbled to bring together the community partners to assist this group of individuals with an often neglected health challenge,” concluded Ms Purbhoo.
Among the many health issues that negatively impact community members with foot related problems, issues related to their feet are ever present and often left untreated resulting in significant health risks and decreased quality of life.