Online course

Diabetic Eye Disease: Strengthening Services

Understand the diabetes challenge and how health professionals can work with people with diabetes to prevent blindness

Diabetic Eye Disease: Strengthening Services

Gain practical knowledge to reduce risk of vision loss from diabetic eye disease

The number of adults with diabetes is predicted to increase by more than 50% to 642 million by 2040. Diabetic eye disease is a range of ocular complications experienced by people with diabetes. Recent global trends have found an alarming increase in the magnitude of vision loss due to diabetic retinopathy, highlighting the need to strengthen health services to prevent blindness.

In this online course, you will learn the key facts about diabetic eye disease and its management, and how health teams and people with diabetes can work together to reduce the risk of vision loss and blindness.

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Skip to 0 minutes and 8 secondsWhen I was diagnosed, I was told diabetes can lead to several problems. I'm a lawyer. And I began to notice issues when I was reading. When you realized that, what treatment did you receive? I have received an injection and laser treatment. I began to see the changes. I was able to read again a little. Today, I have no problem. Diabetes mellitus is an emerging global public health challenge. By 2040, which is just over 20 years from now, we expect that there will be a 50% increase in the number of adults with diabetes. The number of people living worldwide with diabetes is increasing at a considerable rate. And the management of this important condition is a serious public health issue.

Skip to 1 minute and 2 secondsWe realize that one in three people with diabetes may develop diabetic retinopathy, which is a condition which affects the back of the eye and may threaten vision. Early detection through regular eye screening of persons with diabetes is central to prevent blindness. Within a health system, this means three things. It means we have to improve access and services for screening. We have to have regular counseling and health education for people living with diabetes so that they understand the risks that they carry. And finally, we have to strengthen the clinical and surgical services that are available to deal with diabetic eye disease. Diabetes eye care providers face a lot of challenges in delivering services at the local level.

Skip to 1 minute and 50 secondsFirstly, they need to develop mechanisms to deliver services. And these are generally not available in many places. They then need to purchase the equipment, invest in building the infrastructure to provide the services. Once that is done, they need to build the capacity of the local eye care teams so they can then go on to provide services. And above all, to empower the population, the people with diabetes who actually need to share the responsibility of controlling their diabetes and reducing the risk factors which cause diabetic eye disease. In this course, we'll be looking closely at the magnitude of diabetes and the risk factors for diabetic eye disease.

Skip to 2 minutes and 39 secondsWe will look at the principles of screening for diabetic retinopathy and the models for service delivery and treatment that are in practice at present. We'll also look at a practical activity on how to plan services for diabetic eye diseases for a 1 million population. We look forward to having you on our course.

What topics will you cover?

  • Classification, natural history, epidemiology and complications of diabetes mellitus and diabetic eye disease, in particular diabetic retinopathy
  • Impact of diabetic eye disease on the individual, society and health services
  • Public health and screening for diabetic eye disease: principles, guidelines and implementation models
  • Partnerships and team approach to prevent blindness from diabetic retinopathy
  • Approaches to provision of screening and grading services
  • Treatment protocols and guidelines for diabetic retinopathy in high and low resourced health systems
  • Monitoring and evaluation approaches for diabetic retinopathy screening

When would you like to start?

  • Available now
    This course started 8 October 2018

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you'll be able to...

  • Describe the classification, natural history, epidemiology and complications of diabetes mellitus.
  • Interpret the classification, pathophysiology and epidemiology of diabetic eye disease and its impact on eye health services and society.
  • Evaluate public health strategies for the control of diabetic eye disease
  • Describe and apply the principles of screening to diabetic retinopathy
  • Explore the models for detection of diabetic retinopathy and their implications within high and low resourced health systems.
  • Evaluate guidelines for grading, screening and monitoring its implementation with the diabetic retinopathy care pathway
  • Identify the barriers and challenges experienced by people living with diabetes to manage their diabetes, and comply with screening and treatment
  • Assess treatment protocols and resources requirements for the management of Diabetic eye disease and its implementation at a programme level
  • Apply the planning tool to strengthen diabetic eye care services at a local level

Who is the course for?

This course is designed for ophthalmologists, ophthalmic nurses, clinical ophthalmic officers, diabetes nurses, diabetic eye disease screeners and graders, public health specialists, eye health programme managers and planners, diabetologists, general practitioners and all health care personnel involved in supporting people with diabetes.

Who will you learn with?

Dr Daksha Patel ( Lead Educator)

Assistant Professor in International Eye Health. Ophthalmologist and Educator, focusing on research and education to eliminate avoidable blindness

Who developed the course?

The London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine is a world leader in research and postgraduate education in public and global health. Its mission is to improve health and health equity worldwide.

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