World Diabetes Day 2019

Dublin November 14th 2019: World Diabetes Day marks a month dedicated to raising awareness around supportive environments which improve the understanding, management, care and prevention of Diabetes and related conditions. Retina International supports the International Diabetes Federation theme for 2019, “The Family and Diabetes”.

The prevalence of Diabetes is increasing steadily with the condition affecting 422 million people globally, three out of four of whom live in middle or low-income socioeconomic regions. Additionally, two-thirds of those diagnosed are in the working demographic; this is a concerning statistic for Retina International and its members due to the high proportion of Diabetes-related Eye Diseases (DED).

DED relates to a number of vision-threatening conditions, such as Diabetes-related Retinopathy (DR) and Diabetes-related Macular Edema (DME). DR is the leading cause of blindness in the working population affecting 145 million people. This highlights the urgent need for systematic screening programs to be implemented as well as education programmes for those at risk, because early screening can save sight!

Retina International as part of Retina Action, a global coalition of NGOs concerned with vision health and aging,  launched the Diabetic-related Eye Disease Toolkit www.Retina-DED.org this year to provide the most up to date information on what is a complex condition.

Through this resource, those affected and their families can learn more about the warning signs, the different types of DED’s and the care and rehabilitation options that may be open to them. The toolkit also includes guidance on coping with diagnosis, as well as the importance of regular screening to identify potential changes in the retina, with an aim to mitigate onset and progression of related retinal degenerations.

The numbers of people affected by diabetes is expected to increase to 522 million by 2030. With four out of five adults failing to recognise the warning signs of diabetes, Retinal International and its Retina Action partners are advocating to develop consensus driven global policy that will lead to equitable access to early detection, care and treatment as well as rehabilitation and psychological supports for all those affected, regardless of where they live.

ENDS:

 

For further information, contact

Science Communications Executive: sean.heagney@retina-international.org

About Retina International

Retina International is a patient-led global umbrella NGO formed in 1978, to support and promote research into rare, genetically inherited and age-related retinal diseases. Retina International’s work is inspired by three fundamental pillars; research, advocacy and engagement, through which it acts as a platform to develop consensus driven and globally applicable health and research policy and advocate for its implementation, communicate the latest developments in retinal research and provide educational tools to its member organisations to empower patients to be informed participants on decisions that will affect their future.

About Retina Action

Retina Action is a global coalition of non-governmental agencies, charities and patient-led groups concerned with vision loss and aging. Retina Action was established to identify and address global policy gaps in access to diagnosis, care and support for those affected by conditions such as Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD) and Diabetes-related Eye Disease (DED). It also provides validated patient and clinician facing educational resources that highlight the importance of early detection and diagnosis to mitigate retinal disease progression and improve the lives of those affected with complex retinal diseases, while offering an insight into retinal degenerations from the patient’s perspective.

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