A chronic disease, diabetes is a fast-growing health problem throughout Africa, with prevention and treatment needs such as those associated with diabetic foot conditions being left largely unmet.

This study reviewed the literature on diabetic foot ulcer patients in Africa, focusing on the clinical characteristics of the disease, limb amputation rates and mortality rates associated with the latter.

Our data analysis showed a diabetic foot ulcer prevalence of 13% in the 56,173 cases taken into consideration by the study. Approximately 15% of the patients underwent a foot amputation and 14.2% died during hospitalization.

However, both the number of amputations and the mortality rate appear to have decreased over the years, probably due to the recent implementation of diabetes screening programs in Africa.