A School of Health Sciences student is helping develop what will be Pakistan’s first podiatry service for treating foot disorders.
Humeira Parvaiz, in her final year of her Podiatry MSc pre-registration course at the University of Brighton’s Eastbourne campus, cut the ribbon for the first stages of developing the Institute of Podiatry in Pakistan where there is a serious problem with diabetes-related foot disorders.
She said: “Pakistan reportedly is ranked 7th in the world in regards to the prevalence of diabetes and 50% of amputations and even deaths could have been avoided if early signs of diabetic problems were detected.”
Humeira, also a qualified dentist and with an MSc in oral medicine, said she was inspired to help launch the podiatry centre after learning there were no specific podiatry services in Pakistan, despite a huge demand: “I decided to initiate a proper institute of podiatry in Pakistan that would allow us to have our own podiatrists who are trained to identify foot problems before they get worst or life threatening.”
Skype meetings with Wateem (Watin) Medical and Dental College in Rawalpindi culminated in Humeira presenting at the first seminar on podiatry to be held in that country last December. She spoke on podiatry as a profession, the demand in Pakistan, case studies, and the University of Brighton’s MSc Pre Registration podiatry course.
After cutting the ribbon, she said: “It was also my honour to inaugurate the first ever podiatry department in Pakistan in a medical institute. This currently is run by two medical officers, a physiotherapist and a diabetic specialist.
“But once qualified, I will be supervising this department.”
Humeira, who is raising a young family, said her journey has been long and sometime hard: “It was a tough decision to move to Eastbourne, far away from my family in Birmingham. It has been a struggle but I honestly survived because of the support and help of all my tutors and staff at the University of Brighton’s Eastbourne campus.”
She specifically thanked Dr Simon Otter, Principal Lecturer in the University’s School of Health Sciences, Senior Lecturers Rachel Forss and Deborah Whitham: “They have supported me and helped me in every way possible so I could manage between raising kids on my own and studying.”