Jamaica’s Health Minister, Hon. Rudyard Spencer, is considering the establishment of a pilot program to introduce a new product to treat diabetic foot ulcers in Jamaicans. On a recent trip to Cuba, the minister met with officials to discuss a proposal to introduce Heberprot-P, an injectable pharmaceutical composition developed by the Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology Centre (CIGB), Havana, Cuba, for the prevention of amputations due to diabetic foot ulcers.
The product has been registered in Cuba since 2006. Thus far, Heberprot-P has demonstrated with safety and efficacy the treatment of diabetic foot ulcers and the prevention of limb amputation in patients.
“The product Heberprot-P can help close to 2,000 persons who are present at our facilities suffering from this condition,” Spencer was quoted as saying in the Jamaica Observer. “The proposal is for the treatment of about 500 patients over a six-month period during the pilot phase.”
Approximately 150,000 Jamaicans between the ages of 15 and 74 have diabetes mellitus. Since 2005, there has been a steady increase in the number of persons who visit public hospitals with diabetic foot ulcers-952 in 2005, which increased to 1,864 in 2009.