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More young people losing eyesight due to diabetes

June 27, 2019 5:01 pm

More young people in Fiji are losing their eyesight due to a number of causes, especially diabetes.

The Pacific Eye Institute which is an initiative of the Fred Hollows Foundation New Zealand confirms eighty percent of visual impairment and blindness in Fiji is due to cataracts, uncorrected refractive errors and diabetes.

Executive director Andrew Bell says cataract, uncorrected refractive errors and diabetes are the major causes of visual impairment in the country.

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“If you dealing with cataract blindness mostly they are elderly, you have to be round about 50 – 60 before cataract starts to develop, the sad thing about diabetic retinopathy is that it is affecting the younger age so we had a patient recently who is 26 years of age and gone blind in both eyes because of diabetic retinopathy so the sad thing is that the age group is getting younger and younger and is affecting the working class age in Fiji.”

The Pacific Eye Institute is now working with the Health Ministry to create more awareness on this issue.

A conference is also currently underway in Suva where representatives from fifteen different countries are participating.

 

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