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This content is taken from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine's online course, Diabetic Eye Disease: Building Capacity To Prevent Blindness. Join the course to learn more.

Skip to 0 minutes and 11 secondsHello, and welcome to our final week. Screening must not be initiated unless treatment services are available and functioning. Treatment services means having appropriately trained personnel in place. For example, vitreoretinal surgeons and teams with good, functioning equipment, and supplies of required medications, and a good referral and management system in place. In this week, we look at the treatment options for diabetic retinopathy, as it is a major cause of visual impairment amongst people with diabetes. And we explore the challenges that need to be considered when planning the provision of this service. As always, you can work through the week's steps at your own pace and track your progress.

Skip to 1 minute and 8 secondsWe encourage you to join in the discussions at the end of each step and share your thoughts, views, and experiences as you go along. This has been an introductory course-- a sort of stepping stone, if you like. Reflecting on local needs and planning to implement this required service is essential. We hope that this course allows you to begin the journey of making sure that no one goes blind needlessly from diabetic eye disease. Thank you for signing up to the course and for your interest in strengthening diabetic eye care services. Together, we can ensure that no one goes blind needlessly.

Welcome to week 4

Many factors influence treatment decisions for managing diabetic eye disease. At the health system level, it is essential to have highly trained personnel available, access to a range of complex equipment and consumables along with adequate financial support before treatment services can be put in place. Before diabetic retinopathy screening services are initiated, it is crucial to establish appropriate eye care treatment services that can absorb newly detected cases.

At the individual level, key treatment decisions are influenced by the presenting stage of diabetic eye disease and the ability of the patient to attend regular and long term follow up. Different models of service provision are needed to meet specific local needs, and achieve the best outcome for each patient.

“I can see how my vision gets better. So, I saw only pink, and after laser, I start to see perfect and clear. So, I think, that it is one of the greatest achievements. I mean this treatment with laser.”
Person with diabetes, age 63, Romania

“[My eyes have] been examined; I took laser treatment in both eyes two times. But it was not good and I had to examine my eyes again and got five injections in both eyes. Then I was diagnosed with cataracts, had operation, now I have to wear lens.”
Person with diabetes, age 59, Bangladesh

“The equipment is expensive. This has always been the challenge. That has been one of the de-motivating issues.So [providers] know that if they train, some may not get the equipment. The lasers are not many.”
Ophthalmologist, Uganda

By the end of this week you should be able to:

  • Understand the different treatment options for managing diabetic eye disease
  • Assess diabetic eye disease treatment decisions for high and low resource settings
  • Discuss the key messages for patients who require treatment
  • Evaluate the challenges of AntiVEGF treatment in high and low resource settings
  • Describe the different models of diabetic eye disease service delivery in low resource settings.

I hope you enjoy our final week together!

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This video is from the free online course:

Diabetic Eye Disease: Building Capacity To Prevent Blindness

London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine