In keeping with its purpose “to prevent blindness and visual impairment”, Caribbean Council for the Blind (CCB) in collaboration with The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust and Sight Savers International completed the training of 16 Diabetic Retinopathy Screeners from: Dominica, Jamaica and St. Lucia. Each batch was trained over a period of 40 contact hours.
Screeners from Jamaica were trained at the Eye Department, Mandeville Regional Hospital
Screeners from Dominica and St.Lucia were trained at Eye Care St. Lucia, in Castries.
The training sessions were delivered by Khohane Blake (Optometrists and Senior DR Grader) and Nick White, Head of Clinical Media Centre (Diabetic Eye Screening Programme Manager). The screeners are being prepared to check persons with diabetes for signs of diabetic retinopathy, a leading cause of preventable blindness in the Caribbean.
Diabetics who show signs of retinopathy, will be put on track for possible laser treatment. Even after laser treatment, diabetics who do not observe a healthy life style will continue to lose sight and (eventually) go blind. Left untreated, diabetic retinopathy will lead to incurable blindness.
Every one with diabetes, should have their eyes examined (at least) once each year. The only way for persons with type II diabetes to prevent blindness from diabetic retinopathy, is to maintain a normal body mass index (BMI);Take medication for their diabetes exactly as prescribed by their doctor; and observe a healthy life style.
View a short video about the Caribbean DR Screening and Treatment Programme below: