Noor Dubai concludes its two weeks screening campaign of Diabetic patients
- United Arab Emirates: Wednesday, October 17 - 2012 at 12:38
- PRESS RELEASE
Noor Dubai has concluded its two week screening campaign of diabetic patients in correctional facilities across the country, after more than 100 inmates received testing for the eye disease diabetic retinopathy.
"We were amazed at the level of professionalism used at the healthcare centres in these facilities. They are state of the art and provided all that was necessary to guarantee the safety and well-being of both staff and inmates. We were able to use a non mydriatric fundus camera to capture images of the retina without the need to use eye drops, or a referral to a specialised clinic," said Dr. Manal Taryam, CEO of Noor Dubai, an international charitable foundation for the prevention and treatment of blindness and low vision.
Currently available statistics show that 19% of the UAE population suffer from diabetes and statistically, nearly all of those with type 1 and 77% with type 2 will suffer from diabetic retinopathy at some point in their lives, according to Dr. Taryam.
"30 years of studies show that with early detection, 90% of those suffering from blindness due to diabetes could have been prevented if they were diagnosed at an early stage of the disease." added Dr. Taryam.
Worldwide, diabetes causes 4.8% of total blindness, an estimate 37 million people across the globe, according to the World Health Organisation (1).
The screening covered punishment and correctional facilities in Dubai, Sharjah, Fujairah and Ajman, and included 107 inmates. The results were astonishing as 82% of inmates showed levels of HBA1C that reflected good control of their blood sugars. The rest were either admitted recently to the facility or were suffering from other systemic illnesses that interfered with their blood sugar control.
The ophthalmologists found eight inmates who needed referrals to a specialised eye clinic. Three patients suffered from chronic eye conditions that were not related to diabetes, such as age related cataract and chronic glaucoma. All three patients were under the supervision of ophthalmologists.
"Our aim from this campaign was to promote early detection of diabetes related eye diseases through a screening programme that is internationally recognised and recommended for all diabetic patients. We also hope that government facilities will introduce means for better and more effective screening methods such as the use of non mydriatic fundus camera," added Dr Taryam.
"With a better understanding of the national statistics and impact of diabetic retinopathy related blindness in the UAE, with the support of important partners like Noor Dubai and Novartis, the health care authorities in the country will be able to design and implement robust guidelines for its prevention," she concluded.
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