A Diabetes Eye Clinic that has opened in Suva, Fiji will enable early detection, patient education and follow-up of diabetic retinopathy, a leading cause of blindness in the Pacific Island region.
Recent population based data shows that 27.2 per cent of known diabetics and 4.2 per cent of newly diagnosed diabetics in Fiji have retinopathy.1
“We need to screen all diabetics in order to catch the retinopathy really early, and educate them,” said Dr. Biu Sikivou, ophthalmologist in-charge of the Clinic. Good management of diabetes and hypertension significantly reduces the risk for diabetic retinopathy. Early detection and treatment of established retinopathy can greatly reduce the risk for visual loss.
The Diabetes Eye Clinic represents a significant milestone in increasing local capacity for the management of patients with diabetic retinopathy as a part of the standard diabetic health check. It is supported by The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists (RANZCO), the Pacific Eye Institute and The Fred Hollows Foundation NZ, which together, also provide the clinic with diagnostic and therapeutic equipment and have tripled the number of lasers for the treatment of diabetic retinopathy.
The Diabetes Eye Clinic represents a significant milestone in increasing local capacity for the management of patients with diabetic retinopathy as a part of the standard diabetic health check
The Pacific Eye Institute trains ophthalmologists and ophthalmic nurses for the Pacific region. RANZCO helps in this process with coordinated RANZCO Fellow sub-specialty teaching visits, and Dr. Gary Phelps, RANZCO’s teaching ophthalmologist based in Suva. RANZCO involvement is funded by AusAID through the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness and the Vision2020 Global Consortium.
- Brian G, Diabetic Eye Disease among adults in Fiji with self reported diabetes, 2010 Brian G.