Diabetic retinopathy is predicted to become the leading cause of blindness, as rates of diabetes reach epidemic levels globally.
What is diabetic retinopathy?
The condition is a complication of diabetes, and if left untreated can lead to irreversible blindness. Many people with diabetes are unaware they have the condition, and by the time their vision deteriorates is it often too late for treatment. Regular screening, and early treatment, as well as careful health management is important to prevent unnecessary vision loss.
Diabetic retinopathy occurs when poor control of blood sugar levels, high blood pressure and high lipid levels in the blood damage the blood vessels in the retina, which can eventually lead to irreversible blindness.
What are we doing about it?
The Trust is tackling diabetic retinopathy in 13 countries across the Commonwealth. From the Caribbean to South Asia and the Pacific, our partners are piloting different methods of screening, treatment and awareness raising to come up with the most effective solution to the issue. We are bringing together health professionals and governments from all of these countries to share learning and find new solutions.
We will screen tens of thousands of people with diabetes, and provide vital laser surgery for thousands at risk of going blind. Our goal is to create practical, effective and replicable models of care that can be used to prevent diabetic retinopathy throughout the Commonwealth.