World Di­a­betes Day theme 2016 ‘Eyes on Di­a­betes’

Jamaica Gleaner - - DIABETES WEEK FEATURE -

DI­A­BETES IS the lead­ing cause of blind­ness how­ever; only ap­prox­i­mately 10 per cent of per­sons with di­a­betes are re­ceiv­ing ad­e­quate retina (eye) screen­ing and fol­low up for di­a­betic retinopa­thy.

The Min­istry of Health guide­lines on the man­age­ment of di­a­betes rec­om­mend retina (eye) ex­am­i­na­tion at di­ag­no­sis of di­a­betes and ev­ery year for all per­sons with di­a­betes.

Blood sugar con­trol is the ma­jor mod­i­fi­able risk fac­tor in­flu­enc­ing the de­vel­op­ment and pro­gres­sion of di­a­betic retinopa­thy and other eye prob­lems.

The gold stan­dard of di­a­betes con­trol and risk of com­pli­ca­tions is the A1c test that is re­quired to be done by per­sons with di­a­betes ev­ery 3 months.

With this is mind, the Di­a­betes As­so­ci­a­tion of Ja­maica now has reti­nal screen­ing avail­able at af­ford­able cost and free to per­sons with di­a­betes up to age 25.

The Di­a­betes As­so­ci­a­tion of Ja­maica (DAJ) is a non­profit or­gan­i­sa­tion that func­tions on the work of vol­un­teers and has been pro­vid­ing di­a­betes care for the past 40 years. There is no guar­an­teed fund­ing how­ever; we may be in re­ceipt of rare do­na­tions. The or­ga­ni­za­tion op­er­ates on a fee for ser­vice ba­sis.

The main of­fice lo­cated in Kingston of­fers a range of di­a­betes re­lated ser­vices by a team of con­sul­tants who vol­un­teer their ser­vices to help the pa­tients in the man­age­ment and con­trol of their di­a­betes.

The team con­sists of en­docri­nol­o­gists, med­i­cal prac­ti­tion­ers, oph­thal­mol­o­gist, nephrol­o­gists, nu­tri­tion­ist, chi­ropodist, ed­u­ca­tion of­fi­cers, psy­chol­o­gist, and health tech­ni­cians.

We also op­er­ate an out­reach pro­gramme where health screen­ings and di­a­betes ed­u­ca­tion/coun­selling is of­fered is­land­wide.

Health checks done in­house and on out­reaches are as fol­lows:

Blood sugar; blood pres­sure; A1C (blood sugar con­trol); choles­terol (heart dis­ease); haemoglobin (iron); ECG (heart); Mi­cro al­bu­min (kid­ney dis­ease); Dop­pler (blood cir­cu­la­tion in feet); body mass in­dex (weight man­age­ment); vi­sion screen­ing; foot care. In ad­di­tion to these ser­vices we also of­fer kid­ney dial­y­sis.

Contact the DAJ at 927-6774.

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