Dr Shaffi Yusuf Mdala on behalf of the College of Ophthalmology of Eastern, Central and Southern Africa (COECSA)

 

 

Aim

To introduce and integrate diabetic retinopathy screening into the diabetes clinic at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital in Blantyre, Malawi

 

The project

The diabetes clinic at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital (QECH) is the first and largest diabetic clinic in a government hospital in Malawi, with an average of 340 diabetic patients attending the clinic monthly.  Although 50% of diabetic patients attending Malawian hospitals have sight-threatening diabetic retinopathy (STDR), there is no opportunistic screening for diabetic retinopathy at QECH and patients are referred to Lions Sight First Eye Hospital (LSFEH), located one kilometre from QECH, for their diabetic fundus screening.

LSFEH currently screens up to 75 patients monthly, thus diabetic retinopathy screening coverage for the QECH diabetes clinic is only 22%. To address this unmet need, this project will integrate diabetic retinopathy screening into the diabetes clinic at QECH by introducing a fundus camera, stationed at the clinic premises. It is expected that at least 6,000 patients will be screened for diabetic retinopathy over a 2-year period, with the annual diabetic retinopathy screening coverage increasing to 80%. For patients who require treatment for diabetic retinopathy, laser treatment and anti-vascular endothelial growth factor therapy are available in LSFEH.

 

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