Giridhar Anantharaman on behalf of Giridhar Eye Institute, Kerala, India




Increasing awareness of diabetic retinopathy in Kerala, India


The project

Lack of awareness is a major limiting factor in the early detection of diabetic retinopathy. A pilot study identified that many patients are not aware of the possible complications as a result of diabetes mellitus, and many physicians do not warn their diabetic patients about retinopathy and the need for regular retinal examination.

This project therefore aims to educate and create awareness among physicians and healthcare providers treating patients with diabetes. Training programs will be initiated for general practitioners based in Kerala and South India, and information leaflets will be distributed. Training will also be provided for ophthalmologists, to enable them to perform comprehensive retinal examination, to diagnose and treat diabetic retinopathy.



Over the two years after the XOVA funding was awarded, seven workshops and awareness programs were implemented to improve the understanding of diabetic retinopathy in health inspectors, district health workers, university students and volunteers. An interactive CME session on diabetic retinopathy was conducted for general practitioners and family physicians in July 2011, and patient counsellors have distributed educational materials to health centers. The XOVA grant also funded an awareness day and screening camp for the general public, diabetic patients, and nursing assistants. During the day, 42 patients were screened, of whom eight required referral for further examination and treatment.


Last update September 2012.



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