Type 2 Diabetes in Vanuatu
Jean* lies in the operating theatre of Vila Central Hospital in Vanuatu, about to receive a below elbow amputation of her left arm. The surgeon asks if she’s ready while holding her right hand, from which two fingers have been previously amputated. She is not ready, but does she have a choice? She is 49 years old and has been struggling to control her type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) for the past 10 years, in between the responsibilities of looking after her family. The sepsis from the wound on her finger is rapidly ascending up her arm, and this is the best option to avoid losing the entire limb, as had happened to her leg two years earlier.
This is only one of the numerous amputations on diabetic patients conducted at the hospital each year.