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Saint Lucia’s diabetic retinopathy programme has “evolved rapidly”: consultant (+video)

By Ministry of Health and Wellness

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(PRESS RELEASE) — Officials from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, which manages the Queen Elizabeth Trust Diabetic Retinopathy program, recently paid a visit to Saint Lucia to meet with the steering committee to make an assessment of the program since its implementation.

Technical Consultant of the Caribbean Diabetic Retinopathy program, Dr. Cova Bascaran, says she is very pleased that the diabetic retinopathy programme in Saint Lucia has evolved rapidly.

She says the dialogue allowed them to discuss the next steps for delivering integrated eyecare services on island.

“As well as meeting the steering committee of the diabetic retinopathy programme, we also met with the Permanent Secretary and the Chief Medical Officer to discuss two aspects. One is in terms of the programme, the Visions 20/20 links input continues, and we have further plans for training on capacity building, as well as introducing quality assurance where we make sure that all the screening being done of the diabetic retinas is stayed at the right level. In terms of the discussion with the permanent secretary, we were talking about the need for reviewing the broader eyecare strategy for Saint Lucia Ministry of Health levels.”

Medical Officer of Health Dr. Sharon Belmar-George says she is very delighted that the meeting granted them the opportunity to chart the way forward for eyecare services in Saint Lucia.

“We were very pleased in terms of where we are at this moment because we were able to successfully implement the program in a sustainable way and also providing a new service to the public. But, in terms of our planning for the way forward, we were quite pleased to know that with the funding moving forward we will be able to expand the program to include a more holistic eyecare programme. So we will be doing an assessment of our eye health programme looking at our different gaps for expanding the programme. So we are quite excited about that and we will be looking forward to working with them in the coming years.”

Currently, Saint Lucia has four diabetic retinopathy screening sites and one laser treatment site.

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