Success for first online diabetic foot care training

Early this year, Motivation Australia wrapped up our first diabetic foot care (DFC) course delivered entirely remotely to participants in the Solomon Islands.

Three participants prepare materials for a foot wound treatment practice session.

Diabetes in the Solomon Islands

Motivation Australia partnered with the National Diabetes Centre (NDC) and general surgery ward to strengthen diabetic foot care at the National Referral Hospital (NRH) in Honiara. As the only referral hospital in the Solomon Islands, people travel to the NRH from across the country. As in many other countries in the region, late presentation of foot wounds creates a significant burden on tertiary level health services.

On the 48-bed general surgery ward, at least 60% of inpatients have severe diabetic foot wounds, requiring significant surgical and medical intervention and long healing times. Typical hospital stays are longer than 40 days. The NDC wound clinics see 20 to 45 patients daily.

Remote training solution

In response to the challenges of COVID-19 and travel restrictions, Motivation Australia adapted an original in-person diabetic foot care Training of Trainers course to be delivered entirely online.

The overall goal of the training was to contribute to improving client outcomes and reduce the prevalence of diabetic foot wounds, infection, avoidable amputation and death in the Solomon Islands. The DFC online training course was run in three parts:

  • Part 1: Wound management, infection control and offloading
  • Part 2: Diabetes education, procurement, diet and lifestyle
  • Part 3: Training of trainers
Participant makes a cast shoe in front a laptop showing a video conference in progress.
“It is indeed incredible. The facilitators are well prepared, all presentation is well prepared and presented in a professional manner without judgement or criticism.” Participant feedback.

Class of 2020-21

Congratulations to the first cohort of Motivation Australia’s first online Diabetic Foot Care Training of Trainers’ course.

Roselyn practicing foot wound treatment on a plastic foot.

Roselyn Mataki
Surgical nurse

“I have learned many new things about the diabetic foot care and I have also upgraded my knowledge and skills with the offloading topics.”

Abel performing a practice foot screen on a person's foot.

Abel Wairiponi
Surgical nurse

“The training has helped me a lot in broadening my knowledge in order to achieve the goals I have.”

Listina taking a pulse of somebody's feet.

Listina Delary
Diabetic foot care nurse

“The best thing is I’ve learned many great things about diabetic foot wound care and now I’m confident to practice the procedures.”

Angelina looks down at a foot. A laptop showing a video conference in progress is nearby.

Angelina Mangale
Diabetic foot care nurse

“The course has helped me to learn a broad range of knowledge on the pathophysiology of diabetes, how to screen feet and advanced diabetic foot wound management.”

Sharon sits at a desk with a notepad nearby, she is on a video conference call.

Sharon Juvia

“It was really good and well presented.”

Online delivery

Motivation Australia utlised a range of online features to support remote provision of the training. This included video conferencing delivery of Motivation Australia’s Keep Moving training package, by Motivation Australia Podiatrist, Tom Fitzpatrick, Prosthetist Orthotist, Lee Brentnall and Physiotherapist, Daniel Noll.

To complement the modules, our team filmed and developed 14 diabetic foot care training videos, online quizzes, service forms, case studies and interactive mentoring sessions.

Supporting contributions

To enhance the practical training components, the University of South Australia Podiatry Clinic generously donated four 3D printed feet with artificial blood, callous and wounds.

The 3D foot models were utilised in wound management, infection control and offloading training. Participants stated these strongly improved the learning and teaching experience in diabetic foot care.

Motivation Australia would also like to thank and acknowledge the generous contributions and support of Ann Morris, Deeni Beetar-Young and Jennifer Taumoepeau, who volunteered their time and supported development and delivery of Part 2 of the course.

Participants raising awareness

Participants found videos incredibly beneficial to their learning experience and expressed interest to learn how to develop their own video material. In mentoring sessions Roselyn, Angelina, Listina and Abel worked to develop client education videos of ‘Checkem Legi Blo in Evride’ (How to check your feet) and Diabetes in the Solomon Islands.

In effort to promote awareness of how to avoid and prevent foot wounds, infection, avoidable amputation and death, participants translated Motivation Australia’s diabetic foot care posters into local language, Pidgin. These materials will be utilised in waiting rooms, social media and with health promotion teams to improve awareness among local communities.

During the course, Motivation Australia’s Senior Clinical Advisor, Lee Brentnall ran discussion groups with the course participants about gender equity in a health setting. The participants discussed their local context in the Solomon Islands and were motivated to participate in the International Women’s Day “Choose to Challenge” campaign.

Four participants raise their hands and smile at the camera.

Course feedback

Participants completed surveys and pre-post quizzes throughout part of the course. The participants feedback and results provided valuable insight for monitoring, evaluation and learning of course design and delivery.

All participants showed significant improvement in knowledge, skills and confidence throughout the course. Participants:

  • Rated Motivation Australia’s online diabetic foot care course an average of 4.9 out of 5 stars.
  • Completed pre-post quizzes for Part 1 and Part 2 with an average of 71% improvement in grade.
  • After completing Part 3, reported an average rating of 4 out of 5 for their skills, knowledge and confidence in running diabetic foot care training.
  • Report they feel confident to deliver diabetic foot care training to a class size of 15-20 or 20+.
Three participants prepare materials for a foot wound treatment practice session.

“After completing this course, I feel more competent and have more confidence in myself and my work.” Participant feedback

What’s next?

In their final assessment, course participants delivered diabetic foot care training to rehabilitation personnel at the National Referral Hospital.

Dr Rooney Jagilly, Head of surgery and Elsie Taloafiri, director of Physiotherapy and Rehabilitation engaged surgical, diabetic foot care and rehabilitation health workers to strengthen their multi-disciplinary approach. This is core to improving client outcomes and reducing the prevalence of diabetic foot wounds, infection, avoidable amputation and death in the Solomon Islands.

Motivation Australia are working with Dr Rooney Jagilly and partners at the Ministry of Health and Medical Services to develop and implement a diabetic foot care protocol at the NRH and throughout the Solomon Islands.

In this work, Motivation Australia will be supporting course graduates to deliver diabetic foot care training to health workers in the Solomon Islands.

Participants and other health professionals sit around a large conference table. A laptop is being projected onto the wall showing a video conference with Motivation Australia staff. All are smiling for the photo.

Learn more

If you would like to learn more about Motivation Australia’s online Diabetic Foot Care Training of Trainers course or our work in the Solomon Islands, contact Clinical Project Officer Tom Fitzpatrick at


We would like to acknowledge our partners, Ministry of Health & Medical Services in the Solomon Islands, for supporting their staff to complete the training and for helping to facilitate this course, despite the challenges and pressures of the COVID-19 pandemic.

This training is being delivered as part of the Pacific Wayfinders project, supported by the Australian Government through the Australian NGO Cooperation Program (ANCP). Motivation Australia also acknowledges the valuable contribution of The Government of Canada Fund for Local Initiatives (CFLI) programme who supported the development and delivery of this online course.

There are many ways for you to change a life and directly support our work to strengthen health systems. We have opportunities for all skill sets and abilities, so everyone can make a difference!