SVG enters final stage of procuring drug to prevent diabetic amputations
January 2, 2015
SVG enters final stage of procuring drug to prevent diabetic amputations

The Government of St Vincent and the Grenadines is in the final stages of procuring a drug to prevent diabetic amputations in the country.

This is according to Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves, who stated on December 22, in his wrap-up of the 2015 Estimates {{more}}debate, that the discussion with relevant authorities in Cuba are nearing a conclusion for the use of a product called “Heba-pro-p.”

“Heba-pro-p is the brand name of a drug developed by scientists at the Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology in Cuba as a cure for diabetic foot ulcer. This is a product; we want to have it come here,” Gonsalves explained.

The Prime Minister noted that this discussion had started since present Tourism Minister Cecil McKie held the post of Minister of Health.

“The product contains epidermal growth factor to be applied by inter-legional injections, directly in the wound site. It has been found to promote granulation and healing in advanced diabetic foot ulcers. The drug is currently in use in Cuba since 2007 and it’s used in several other Latin American countries,” Gonsalves said.

“As of 2012, China has started advanced stage three testing of the drug along with colleagues at 100 hospitals throughout the European Union (EU). The drug has been successfully used in Algeria where at least 700 patients with diabetes could avoid amputation and another 3,000 cases of gangrene have been treated. This means healing time is 13 weeks. The recurrent rate is low as further amputations were avoided as patients’ quality of life improved.”

The Prime Minister added that the government is in the process of getting specialists from Cuba to train Vincentian doctors and that they were looking into funding as this is a service that St Vincent and the Grenadines is looking for.(BK)