Caribbean Diabetic Retinopathy Programme To Start With Six Countries

Diagram showing the parts of the human eye
Diagram showing the parts of the human eye

St. John’s, Antigua, April 13, 2014 : Six countries from the Commonwealth Caribbean have been selected to participate in the Caribbean Diabetic Retinopathy: Prevention, Screening, Referral and Treatment Programme.

Chief Executive Officer of the Caribbean Council for the Blind (CCB/Eye Care Caribbean), Arvel Grant, says the countries that will be participating are Antigua and Barbuda, Belize, Dominica, Guyana, Jamaica and St. Lucia.

“The next step in the process is the development of a regional proposal based on national consultations with interested countries. Any of the six countries unable or unwilling to contribute to the development of a good enough (basic) national proposal, may be excluded from the overall regional programme,” Grant said.

The inclusion of five the selected countries, is a direct flow, from their participation in the Diabetic Retinopathy Situation Analysis, conducted by the Head of the United Kingdom’s largest Diabetic Retinopathy screening and treatment Programme, Dr. Mike Eckstein, in June, 2013.

“The Council is particularly gratified that this initiative fits well with our current preparations to launch the Caribbean Diabetic Retinopathy KAP (Knowledge Attitudes and Practice) study, in: Antigua-Barbuda, Barbados, Guyana, Jamaica and St. Lucia.

The research proposal is being finalized for submission to the Institution Review Board (IRB) UWI, Barbados,” the CEO added.

In order to facilitate the development of national proposals, which will in turn inform the wider regional proposal, CCB/Eye Care Caribbean will assign Carl Browne, a public health professional, to visit the six countries.

Browne, who has functioned and consulted at national, regional and international levels will begin the project in a few weeks, on a date to be announced.

“Carl possesses strong core competencies in the areas of leadership, communication and team working. He has undertaken three prior regional assignments relating to Vision 2020 (The Right To Sight) and I am delighted that he has indicated a willingness to join our team once again,” said Grant.

Diabetic retinopathy, one of the most prevalent causes of blindness in the Caribbean, is a condition occurring in persons with diabetes, which causes progressive damage to the retina, the light sensitive lining at the back of the eye.

Contact: Arvel Grant CEO – CCB/Eye Care Caribbean

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