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Diabetic retinopathy programme review

THE Department of Health and Wellness continues to receive strong support from the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust in its efforts to deliver prevention and treatment services for people with diabetes.

A team from the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust recently visited Saint Lucia to review the work undertaken through the Diabetic Retinopathy program.

Communications Officer of the trust Samantha Wood says the visit will grant them the opportunity to meet health care professionals and patients to see how the program is executed.

Wood believes the diabetic retinopathy program will help to address the burden of diabetes in Saint Lucia.

“It is really important that the Trust work in St. Lucia with the Ministry of Health on our diabetic retinopathy initiative. People don’t need to go blind from having diabetes so early intervention and screening will help this. So, if people do have diabetes, make sure you getting your eyes checked so you don’t go blind from diabetes.”

Medical Officer of Health Dr. Sharon Belmar-George expressed enthusiasm to continue working with the Trust to improve the diabetic retinopathy services on island.

“One of the aspects of this program is definitely communication. So, they are hoping to review the program at different levels and to get feedback of implementation to date. This programme is extremely valuable to us as prior to the funding received through the Trust and also the support of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. We were not able to do laser surgery for diabetics with eye problems within the island.”

Dr. Belmar-George also called on Saint Lucians to take advantage of the diabetic retinopathy services available at the various primary health care centers.

“The Ministry of Health & Wellness, we continue to urge all our diabetics, whether you are experiencing problems with your vision or not; we are urging everybody to please come in and get your eyes screened and checked. We provide clinics every Friday at the Castries Wellness Center and presently at the Laborie Wellness Center since our Vieux Fort Wellness Center is under repair”

The diabetic retinopathy programme is managed by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and funded by the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust.

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