Eye disorder high among patients with diabetes

Kathmandu, December 12

Nepal Eye Programme-Tilganga Institute of Ophthalmology conducted eye check-up for as many as 10,227 patients with diabetes in the Kathmandu Valley and five other districts as part of Diabetic Retinopathy Project during 2012-2015.

The project was implemented in the Valley and Dhading, Sindhupalchowk, Nuwakot, Makwanpur and Rolpa districts by NEP-TIO in collaboration with district hospitals and health network organisations with support from the Australia-based Fred Hollows Foundation.

The aim of the project was to reduce blindness from diabetes in the country. TIO had announced completion of the three-year project amid a function organised in the capital yesterday. Of 10,227 diabetes patients, who had a retinal check-up, 647 were offered further treatment free or at subsidised rate on need basis.

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According to TIO, 21.6 per cent of diabetes patients were found to have been affected by various eye disorders. Though 73 per cent of the patients said they were aware of diabetic retinopathy, only 39 per cent had undergone eye check-up before. Around 89 per cent of patients were from the urban areas.

TIO said it had succeeded in achieving the target in this case. “Such programmes should be conducted nationwide to reduce diabetic retinopathy in the country to raise awareness against the effects of diabetes on eyes and to provide the patients access to the treatment. It can be prevented and treated if timely diagnosed,” said TIO.

Diabetic retinopathy is one of the leading preventable causes of visual impairment and blindness in Nepal.

According to the International Diabetes Federation, an estimated 382 million people worldwide have diabetes. Around 80 per cent of them are living in the developing world.