The personal, social and economic costs of sight loss are well recognised, with strong evidence that screening is an effective intervention when linked with access to appropriate treatment pathways.
DR screening programmes are relatively non-complex and low tech, using retinal fundus cameras to capture 2D digital images, which are then graded for the presence and severity of any DR. Anybody considered to be at risk of sight threatening retinopathy should then be referred to an appropriate eye care treatment centre.
There are 387 million people living with diabetes worldwide and this number is estimated to increase by more than 50% in the next 20 years. Just thinking about the global economic cost alone of dealing with the disease complications is mind-numbing. We have to start somewhere and thus in this discussion we will discuss the prevention of sight loss.
My question may initially appear simple, even naive. But considered in the context of the above, it may also strike you as profound.
Why can’t every person with diabetes have access to an effective retinopathy screening programme?