Dr Kumar says that people lacked awareness, which is a key reason that led him to start these camps. Eyebetes foundation camp camp was started in 2016 at the Lalbaugcha Raja during Ganesh Chaturthi and in 2017 at Siddhivinayak temple during the ten days of the festival, to enrol more people and get free screenings done.
Dr Nishant Kumar, Consultant Ophthalmologist and Vitreo-Retinal surgeon, said “With the increasing number of diabetics, the prevalence of blindness due to diabetes is bound to increase. Poor control of blood sugar, blood pressure and blood lipids leads to microvascular complications leading to Diabetic Retinopathy. Those with poor control of diabetes and with longer duration of diabetes are at a higher risk of contracting Diabetic Retinopathy.”
Dr Kumar further added, “This is the 5th mega Eyebetes initiative and the first at the iconic Haji Ali Dargah. Till now we have screened more than 50,000 people and to create more awareness we have distributed more than 8,50,000 educational leaflets regarding diabetes and blindness. Diabetes is one of the leading causes for loss of sight.”
UK, USA started the screening programme for diabetes 10-15 years back as they foresaw that it could lead to a health disaster whereas in India people are likely to assume the issue is because of age or self-diagnoses.
By 2030, India is expected to have 100 million diabetic patients, compared to the existing 80 million, which is also a common cause of blindness in the working age group.
“One in five diabetics in the world is an Indian. People have prejudices against diabetes. They have never got their blood pressure checked,” said Kumar.
Article Source: Afternoon Despatch & Courier | March 06, 2018