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Wednesday / April 17.
HomeminewsProactive Glaucoma Screening for China

Proactive Glaucoma Screening for China

A proactive glaucoma screening program in China could save three million years of blindness, in the process saving the government funds and changing the future of glaucoma healthcare in the world’s most largely populated country.

Glaucoma is the leading cause of irreversible blindness, affecting 64.3 million people globally. Treatment must be administered early, and only around 10% of those needing such treatment receive it in middle-income countries such as China.

“The research findings suggest that a national glaucoma screening programme in China could save the government money in the long-term, as it would reduce the demands on resources for the large population who would otherwise suffer completely avoidable loss of sight,” said Dr Jianjun Tang from the Centre of Public Health at Queen’s University Belfast (QUB).

The study found that the implementation of a screening programme in both rural and urban settings could improve the quality of life for those who receive an early diagnosis. This is expected to avoid nearly three million years of blindness across China’s population of 434 million people aged 50 and over.

Professor Nathan Congdon from QUB and Director of Research at Orbis International acknowledged that the findings “fundamentally alter the way we all think about this disease, from a passive approach of waiting for patients to seek care, often too late, to actively reaching out into the community, catching glaucoma before blindness occurs.”