DIABETIC patients from Fareham and Gosport are taking part in an information conference and workshops to better manage the condition.
The event has been put on by charity Diabetes UK and the Solent Diabetes Association.
It comes as Fareham and Gosport has one of the highest amputation rates in the country – 5.1 per 1,000 adults with diabetes, compared to 4.3 in Portsmouth, and the national average of 2.6 per 1,000.
Today’s conference in Fernham Hall, Osborn Road, Fareham, aims to show people techniques on how to check their feet as part of the charity’s Putting Feet First Campaign.
Diabetes can lead to poor circulation in the feet and means you are less likely to feel pain.
Ivy Tong, 76, of Lynden Close, Fareham, has been living with Type 2 diabetes for six years.
She said: ‘I have very good feet, but I have noticed they hurt more.
‘I have come along to find out more about how I should look after my feet and learn more about diabetes.’
The conference opened with Fareham MP Mark Hoban.
He said: ‘I am so pleased to see so many people here today, this is very positive.
‘I was shocked at the figures of amputation rates in Fareham and Gosport, especially as in Fareham we generally do well elsewhere.
‘We need to make sure we are talking to doctors and nurses and they are checking your feet.
‘But also there needs to be some self-care and I hope this conference helps with that.’