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International Medical Collaboration

Since our Diabetes Center has been designated as WHO-collaborating Centre for Diabetes in 1988, we have been engaging in training of medical professionals from various developing countries.

Prof. Hideshi Kuzuya (a former director in General of Kyoto Medical Center) led our first International Medical Collaborating research project called diabetes and its prevention in developing countries. Prof. Kuzuya chose National Hospital of Endocrinology in Hanoi, Vietnam as a counterpart in this project, and studied the epidemiology of diabetes in Vietnam. The findings were beyond our prediction, and the prevalence of diabetes in Hanoi was surprisingly as high as 8%, and the half of the diabetic patients were found to have neuropathy at the initial visit to the hospital.

In 2004, upon the request from the Vietnamese doctors, our foot care team joined the pilot research project called “the collaborating research and educating professionals utilizing oversea centers”. Our aim was to educate Vietnamese doctors and nurses in order to reduce lower extremity amputation in Vietnam.

We formed the multi-racial-specialty team, and held 1st seminar on the care and prevention of diabetic foot in Hanoi, Vietnam for Vietnamese medical professionals in November 2004. The team consisted of a Vietnamese American podiatrist, Thanh L Dinh, DPM from Harvard Medical School, along with the Kyoto Medical Center foot care team, including Shigeo Kono, MD, PhD (Director, WHO-collaborating Centre for Diabetes), Eduard Herbst (Orthopedic Shoe Meister), Masayuki Ohi (Orhotist/Prosthetist) and Yuki Izumi, DPM (US trained podiatrist).

Since then, we continue to visit Vietnam to hold annual training seminar, and at the same time, we accepted Vietnamese doctors and nurses to Kyoto Medical Center for more extensive training. By using Information Technology, complicated diabetic foot cases in Vietnam were discussed over video phone, and we helped them to make specific clinical decisions. With all these efforts, the amputation rate at the National Hospital of Endocrinology in Hanoi started to decline. The rate of amputation in 2004 was over 50%, but by the year of 2007, it became less than 30%.

In 2006, International Symposium on the Diabetes and its complications in Western Pacific Region was held in Kyoto, and the participants of the symposium were the representatives from 8 countries in Western Pacific region, Prof. Andrew J.M. Boulton (Manchester, UK) Dr. Gauden Galea (regional adviser of NCD, WHO Western Pacific Regional Office) and Dr. Koichiro Kudo (International Medical Center, Tokyo, Japan) in addition to Kyoto Medical Center staff. The varieties of topics were discussed and each representative presented the situations in their home countries.

The participants of this symposium got together and developed the Asia Pacific Regional Diabetic Foot Care Project. In the following year, we held the first project meeting called KYOTO FOOT MEETING in March 2007, in which we had representatives from 9 countries (Mongolia, China, Philippine, Vietnam, Indonesia, Thai, Malaysia, India and Tonga) along with diabetic foot experts (Prof. Lawrence Harkless from Texas, USA, and Dr. Sharad Pendsey from Nagpur, India) and the officers from World Diabetes Federation(WDF) (Dr. Anil Kapur and Ms. Sanne Frost). At the meeting, all the participants joined discussion on what we can do to collaborate on diabetic foot problems in Western Pacific region.

Kyoto Medical Center has been inviting doctors and nurses from WHO-WPR footcare project member countries to provide practical training course as well as diabetic foot experts to enlighten our project.

In 2009, a UK podiatrist, Ms. Lethea VM Foster visited our facility to give training sessions to our trainees and staff, and Professor Benjamin Lipsky from Seattle and Thomas Lyons, DPM from Boston shared thier knowledge on complicated cases in Phillipines through video conference.

We are honor to have internatinal experts from all over the world every year, and such experts include  Professor B. Lipsky, from US (2011), Professor J. Apelqvist from Sweden (2012), Professor C. Caravaggi from Italy and Professor M. McGill from Australia (2013) and Professor S. Morbach (2014).

We are the main facility hosting KYOTO FOOT MEETING, which is held every hear, and we invite doctors and nurses from Western Pacific Region to discuss as well as those international experts. We hope to continue to serve for international medical collaboration as a WHO Collaborating Centre for Diabetes Treatment and Education.

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