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Australian Indigenous HealthBulletin Alcohol and other drugs knowledge centre Yarning Places

An initiative to stop Australians with diabetes going needlessly blind

Date posted: 17 July 2017

Last week was National Diabetes Week, Vision 2020 Australia called on the Australian Government to invest in the prevention of diabetes-related eye disease – the leading cause of avoidable vision loss among working-aged Australians.

An estimated 1.7 million Australians are living with diabetes. With an additional 280 people developing diabetes every day, this figure is predicted to grow to 2.45 million by 2030.

Moreover, one in three people with diabetes has a related eye disease such as diabetic retinopathy.

Carla Northam, Chief Executive Officer, of Vision 2020 Australia, says, ‘Ninety-eight per cent of severe vision loss from diabetes can be avoided with early detection, yet we know half of Indigenous Australians and one-quarter of non-Indigenous Australians with diabetes are not having eye examinations as often as they should.'

‘Vision 2020 Australia is calling on the Australian Government to fund the national Diabetes Blindness Prevention Initiative, which will assist in improving coordination of service delivery, ultimately reducing the number of people who are needlessly blind.’

‘The Initiative we are proposing, with Diabetes Australia and in partnership with the Centre for Eye Research Australia, will remind people with diabetes to have regular eye checks, ensure more-effective information sharing and establish an evidence base on eye examination uptake.

‘Systematic and coordinated screening has virtually eliminated diabetes-related blindness in other countries. It is vital that Australia does the same.’

Source: Vision 2020 Australia


Last updated: 17 July 2017
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