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


Andrew has taught at the University as well as providing podiatry services in South Africa since 1977. Twice chair of the Podiatry Association of South Africa and a commentator on care of your feet on both radio and television he now works in private practice in Cape Town and Hout Bay.

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