|National Diabetic Retinopathy Summit|
The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust in partnership with the Public Health Foundation of India and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine hosted the National Diabetic Retinopathy Summit, in Hyderabad from 12th -14th April 2014. The summit aims to develop an agreed national strategy for the prevention, detection and treatment of Diabetic Retinopathy (DR), a leading cause of avoidable blindness amongst diabetics in India. The Summit will further examine a landmark India centric situational analysis as the starting point for the development of a shared national strategy.
The South Asia Centre for Disability Inclusive Development & Research (SACDIR) at the Indian Institute of Public Health, Hyderabad (IIPH-H), a constituent unit of the Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI), is the hub for conducting a situational analysis and research. The Center will also oversee and implement the strategic partnership between PHFI and The Trust to develop various approaches to treat diabetic retinopathy across India.
A major finding from the situational analysis was the lack of attention given to the damaging impact diabetes can have on vision, with less than a third of diabetes physicians even having a simple vision chart in their clinics.
The study also highlighted a severe lack of public awareness about diabetes and the importance of regular eye tests. Half of the people in the study didn’t know they had diabetes until they visited an eye clinic for problems with their vision. More than half the patients visiting ophthalmologists had been suffering from diabetes for over 10 years, with 15% living with the condition for over 20 years and therefore putting themselves at a high risk of sight loss.
Diabetic Retinopathy is the leading cause of blindness among working adults. Hence these findings highlight the substantial public health effect of diabetes and the need for effective screening and management of DR related risk factors