Photo by Jesper Westley

International Working Group on the Diabetic Foot

The International Working Group on the Diabetic Foot (IWGDF) was founded in 1996 and became in 2000 a Consultative Section of the International Diabetes Federation (IDF).

In 1999 the IWGDF published for the first time the International Consensus on the Diabetic Foot and Practical Guidelines on the Management and the Prevention of the Diabetic Foot. To date, this publication has been translated into 26 languages, and more than 80.000 copies were distributed globally. In order to implement the International Consensus, the IWGDF recruited local champions as members of the IWDGF  and nowadays these members represent over 100 countries around the world.

Workings groups of independent experts in the field were at a quadrennial base asked to revise and update the chapters of the original text, according to current knowledge and standards. Since 2007 the guidelines are based on evidence in the literature. The most recent IWGDF Consensus guidelines have been launched in May 2011. This ongoing process is guided  by the IWGDF Editorial Board.

Other aims of the IWGDF are stimulating proper research and to advice scientific meetings  of which the very successful quadrennial  International Symposiums on the Diabetic Foot (ISDF) since 1991 in Noorwijkerhout, the Netherlands is the far most striking example.

Website ISDF I 1991
May 1991 Organizing Committee (first) ISDF 1 (International Symposium on the Diabetic Foot), Noordwijkerhout, the Netherlands.

Standing from left to right: Andrew J M Boulton, UK, Karel Bakker, the Netherlands, Jan A Rauwerda, the Netherlands, Per E Holstein, Denmark, Folke Lithner, Sweden, Bob PJ Michels, the Netherlands. Kneeling: Lawrence B Harkless, USA. Standing above: Arie C Nieuwenhuijzen Kruseman, the Netherlands


The IWGDF is instrumental in acting as a consultant for implementation programmes as “the Step by Step, improving diabetic foot care in developing and low income countries”, the “Train-the-Foot-Trainer, how to set up Step by Step programme” (TtFT) programs, “the Diabetic foot care education programme for assistants” (DFCAss) and Post-graduate courses.

IWGDF Board.

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