Amputations on the rise in St Maarten



Sucker Garden, Sint Maarten — Diabetes and peripheral arterial disease (poor circulation) are responsible for most leg and foot amputations in St. Maarten. The number of leg foot, and toes, amputations is on the rise. This was revealed by Dr. Luc Mercelina at a Health and Wellness event organized by Julian Rollocks Jr along with the Diabetes Foundation, on Sunday, December 18th.2022

In a well staged event, held on Arch Road, over 50 persons of various backgrounds took the advantage of having their Health systems checked. Dr. Mercelina in address to the audience, said that when he started working in St. Maarten in 1999, he used to perform an average of one amputation every 6 months as a consequence of the complications of Diabetes.

Dr. Mercelina further said: “I am going to shock you, to tell you the truth, it is now 2 (two) amputations per week. At this particular moment, the statistics of what I am doing as a surgeon at the St. Maarten Medical Centre, confirms 2 amputations per week. Do you realize what that means for society, if I am going to amputate every week 2 persons over a time span of 52 weeks in a year?”

Dr Mercelina who is leader of the URSM party, further emphasized that in his research it was discovered that 25% or 1 out of every 4 persons in our society do not have Health Insurance. Unfortunately, this 25% represents the less fortunate in our Society. The rates for diabetic foot complications are driven by a complex set of factors including poor diets, poverty and barriers, patients face in accessing necessary resources, like proper Health Insurance, including foot care support. An integrated diabetes strategy and approach, will be a solution that will work to reduce the burden of complications for people affected by the disease, Dr. Mercelina concluded.

He complimented Julian Rollocks Jr, candidate elect for the URSM Party for taking the initiative for organizing this event, and look forward to the next few events which are planned for the new Year.

Mr Rollocks Jr who will be contesting the next elections on the URSM Party slate, said that he was overwhelmed by the amount of people that showed up for the event, and he is looking forward to planning more similar events in this new year.