WHASA consensus document on the management of the diabetic foot

  • Liezl Naude
  • Hiske Smart Welkom Medi-Clinic
  • Lynne Tudhope
  • Gerda Janse van Rensburg
  • Howard Alexander
  • Talib Abdool-Carrim
  • Daniela Chrysostomou
  • Neford Ongaru
  • Hazem Al Dabbas Molnlycke Healthcare
  • Monique Walker Discovery Managed Healthcare
  • Alison Lingard KCI-Medical
  • Emma Trenholm Smith and Nephew
  • Nonhlanhla Zikalala Coloplast
  • Marla Naidoo Smith and Nephew
  • Thuli Langa Coloplast
Keywords: Diabetic food, management, wound healing


The management of the diabetic foot is often a costly endeavor due to the magnitude of foot complications that can arise when not managed within the multi-disciplinary team. The International Working Group on the Diabetic Foot (IWGDF 2011) states that: “A strategy that includes prevention, patient and staff education, multidisciplinary treatment of foot ulcers, and close monitoring can reduce amputation rates by 49-85%”.1 This document is based on the work done by the IWGDF and fully endorses International Consensus Document on the Management and Prevention of the Diabetic foot (2011).1 Other Guidelines that play a predominant role in adapting the International Guidelines to the South African and also African context are comprehensively detailed in the SEMDSA guidelines (2012),2 NICE guidelines (2008),2 Wound Bed Preparation Guidelines (2011),3 SIGN guidelines (2010)4 and the International Best Practice Guidelines: Wound Management in Diabetic Foot Ulcers (2103).5 Wound Care for the Diabetic Foot poses unique challenges due to the predisposing risk factors as well as the psychological impact on both the patient, family and care givers. It is also noted that a Diabetic Foot Ulcer (DFU) is a pivotal event in the life of a person with diabetes and is seen as a clear marker of serious under lying disease. Rapid wound deterioration is inevitable if wound care interventions are not done early to avoid ultimate amputation.3,5 The purpose of this document is to describe the basic principles in managing the diabetic foot by focussing on both prevention and ulcer treatment within the African context.

Author Biographies

Liezl Naude
RN Wound Management Specialist
Lynne Tudhope
Vascular Surgeon
Gerda Janse van Rensburg
Podiatrist CDE Centre
Howard Alexander
Talib Abdool-Carrim
Vascular Surgeon
Daniela Chrysostomou
RN Wound Management Specialist
Neford Ongaru
Orthopaedic Surgeon
Hazem Al Dabbas, Molnlycke Healthcare
Molnlycke Healthcare
Monique Walker, Discovery Managed Healthcare
Discovery Managed Healthcare
Alison Lingard, KCI-Medical
Emma Trenholm, Smith and Nephew
Smith and Nephew
Nonhlanhla Zikalala, Coloplast
Marla Naidoo, Smith and Nephew
Smith and Nephew
Thuli Langa, Coloplast
WHASA Consensus Documents