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The Eyebetes Foundation, lead by Dr Nishant Kumar, has organised an 11-day-long free eye check-up for the devotees of the Siddhivinayak Temple at Prabhadevi. About 2000 devotees were screened in one day (September 18) alone, with more than 4000 attending the diabetes and eye check camp so far. Indian cricketing great, Sunil Gavaskar too attended this camp and appreciated the efforts taken by the Eyebetes Foundation.

Dr Nishant Kumar, an ophthalmologist at Eyebetes Foundation says, “Many people avoid going for regular health check-ups. To create awareness, we came up with the idea to organise a diabetes and eye check camp during the festive season. During the Ganesha festival, we see a vast number of devotees coming in from various places to seek Bappa’s blessings. They stand in long queues for an hour. We see this as an opportunity, whereby people can use that time for there checkup i.e. free blood pressure, blood sugar, vision assessment and a retinal examination. The reports of eye screening and diabetic testing are then sent to their mobiles phones.”

“Comprising nurses, nursing students, optometry students, optometrists, event management students, our event management team and security personnel, our team provides the screening service from 9.00 am to 8.00 pm all 11 days of the Ganesha festival. Given the scale of the problem, it is most important we raise awareness about this disease and also break some of the misconceptions about the disease, which have garnered momentum over the last few years,” he says.

At all the entrances and exits of the temple, the Eyebetes staff will distribute educational leaflets about diabetes and how diabetes affects the eyes. They will also guide all pilgrims toward the free medical camp within the temple, located near the main darshan queue. “One month post Ganapati, our team will call participants with abnormal results and ask if they have seen a doctor of their choice. The call is to remind participants to have themselves reviewed and get further investigated as deemed necessary by their doctor,” adds Dr Kumar.

“Throughout the year, we will continue to spread awareness regarding diabetes and blindness. It is essential that Eyebetes becomes common parlance and people start recognising that diabetes and eyes are very strongly linked and that Diabetes can cause blindness,” Dr Kumar concluded.

Article Source: Afternoon Despatch & Courier | September 20, 2018
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