THE MAN behind a scheme to help thousands suffering from the effects of diabetes has decided to retire after 14 years championing the cause.
Rotarian John Greedy’s work has seen clinics, training and funding made available across the Caribbean to educate people and diagnose and treat related illnesses.
The Tarrington resident’s campaign began after a chance meeting with Dr Lloyden Joseph in Tobago after Mr Greedy was diverted there on a business trip. Dr Joseph was suffering from foot ulcers as a result of diabetes, which led to him undergoing amputations and eventually passing away following organ failure.
A Rotary spokeswoman said: “John returned to Ledbury deeply concerned about the plight of the people of Tobago who had shown him such warm hospitality. He discovered the apparent lack of awareness about the effects of untreated foot ulcers that can lead to amputation and there was a growing need for health education in the field of diabetes.
“Diabetes is a major problem in the world. The Rotary Club of Ledbury is aware of the disastrous effects of diabetes such as amputation, blindness, heart disease and liver failure. They will continue to support the International Diabetes Federation in their work of raising the awareness of diabetes in the world and help to alleviate the suffering involved.”
He established a Rotary twinning between Ledbury and Tobago, as well as partnerships with professional medical organisations and other Rotary clubs which has seen the project established on 12 Caribbean islands, with moves to introduce programmes in multiple other locations.
Doctors and nurses from 27 different countries recently attended a Train the Foot Trainers course, with further training set to take place in Africa, India and Pakistan.
Three clinics were set up in Tobago where training was provided for medical staff, with thousands of residents accessing treatment for diabetes-related illness. Outreach programmes in schools and colleges were also established and the Footcare Project was officially adopted by the Government of Trinidad and Tobago, with other Caribbean countries eventually adopting the Step by Step programme with funding and match grants enabling this to continue for the foreseeable future.
Sir Michael Hirst, head of the International Diabetes Federation, said: “John Greedy could not have known what an incredible difference he and his colleagues in the Rotary Club of Ledbury would make to people with diabetes in the Caribbean when he met Dr Lloyden Joseph in Tobago all those years ago.
“As president of the International Diabetes Federation, I salute the huge achievement of John and his fellow Rotarians in Ledbury. It is nothing short of extraordinary that such a dedicated group has achieved so much by their vision, determination and generosity.
“There are many in the Caribbean whose quality of life has been immeasurably improved by the Foot Programmes held in the Caribbean, and the success of this programme is a fitting tribute to the great work of John Greedy.”