Monthly Archives: September 2008

Talk Radio 702: A Word on Medical Matters: Feet & Podiatry

Talk Radio 702 in Johannesburg and 567 Cape Talk present a nightly series of talk shows devoted to specific topics. On Tuesdays it is A Word on Medical Matters and this coming week the topic is going to be feet. Hosted by Leigh Bennie and Prof. Harry Seftel, the programme is broadcast from 7.00 pm. For this programme I have been asked to be the guest on the show!

Anything can happen as it is an open line phone-in programme linking the sister stations of 702 & 567. It is great fun although a bit scary since you have no idea what questions are coming until you see them on the computer screen in front of you. Nevertheless it is an excellent forum for publicising the role of the podiatrist in providing health care in South Africa.

Maybe that role will become more recognised and change for the better, now that we have a new Minister of Health. Perhaps now we can also get a sensible line of communication to the Minister concerning the scale of fees payable for our services.

Today was another busy day in the practice culminating in the latest visit of the patient I wrote about with gangreous feet and undergoing dialysis. Well, the toes are still attached although black and dry – but the gentleman is really unwell. I have arranged for his wife to do some dressings, so that he could reduce the number of visits he needs per week. This is an important factor of the International Consensus on the Diabetic Foot, where the patient, family and health care professionals get involved in care. The intention is to develop an interactive and educated team.

Yesterday was another Paediatric Rheumatology clinic at Chris Hani Baragwanath – every week there is something new and we are beginning to have success in managing the painful foot complaints of some of the children. Incorrect footwear is still one of the main obstacles to achieving success though, because I can’t put an orthotic into a shoe that is already 2 sizes too small. This happened yesterday; the shoes in question were a pair of stylish Lacoste sneakers – bought at considerable cost by a loving mother but they were too small after a few months. With the result that the toes were buckling and painful – nothing to do with arthritis of course.

As summer approaches there has been an increase in ‘sweaty foot disorders’ so in the next week I’ll give some advice on how to recognise, treat and possibly avoid them. But if you can’t wait, listen to A Word on Medical Matters on Tuesday 30 September where the topic is Feet ard Podiatry, because the question always comes up.

In the meantime – TAKE CARE OF YOUR PAIR

Rheumatology Updates:Fame At Last – An Ego Polished – Silence Broken

Fame is a passing thing, but all things come to those who wait! The Rheumatology Updates were originally planned for Febuary in Nairobi, Kenya. My ego was nicely polished by being invited to participate as a speaker at a 3-day workshop for Allied Health Professionals. The trip to Kenya was postponed twice due to the political unrest in that country. However last Wednesday I received confirmation that the trip is on.

The event is an initiative of AFLAR (African League of Associations for Rheumatology). The full title is The Regional Rheumatology Symposium and Workshops, Eastern African Region “Rheumatology Updates.”

Running from the 6th – 10th October there is a 3-day workshop for Allied Health Professionals, a Public Lecture (to be presented at the Holy Family Basilica Hall -the Cathedral) and the Rheumatology Updates will take place on the 8th & 9th at the Grand Regency Hotel.

I have to give three oral presentations plus two practicals at the workshops and (here’s the ego polish!) I have been invited to speak at the more formal updates on The Foot in Arthritis.

As far as I am aware, there is only one qualified Rheumatologist in Nairobi – possibly in Kenya. When I went there last year as part of a team from the Department of Rheumatology from the University of the Witwatersrand, for an AFLAR Congress, the hunger for knowledge was immense, but the resources very few. The intention is to not only impart knowledge but also to train people to provide better care to people with Arthritis.

I have also found out that there is only one podiatrist in Kenya too. A graduate of the University of Salford. Quite by coincidence I was a lecturer there in the 1970’s.

Sorry for the silence and lack of input to the site for the past month. Reasons? My associate got married and was on honeymoon, so I had to work harder! The winter respiratory dryness got me and I succumbed to a chest infection. Also got in a brief visit to my granddaughter in Hout Bay and the biggest time taker of all was setting year end examinations for the podiatry students at the University of Johannesburg.

However I can’t wait for the Rheumatiology Updates in Nairobi. As I said “fame at last, an ego polished and silence broken”.