Picture by St John Eye Hospital Group
In response to the World Diabetes Awareness Day, St John Eye Hospital highlights its work fighting Diabetic Retinopathy across the Palestinian territories.
The World Diabetes Day is held on 14 November every year as part of the primary global awareness campaign by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF). St John has been making a concerted effort to fight the condition of Diabetic Retinopathy since it was highlighted as the biggest challenge in tackling avoidable blindness in the region over a decade ago. The condition can develop in anyone who has type 1 or type 2 diabetes and affects up to 80 percent of those who have had diabetes for 20 years or more.
Our JOIN member from Jerusalem has been screening for Diabetic Retinopathy since 2012 in the West Bank, refugee camps in Jordan and now across the Gaza Strip and in the Old City of Jerusalem. Since the beginning it was clear, that an integrated approach which brings together local general clinics and the national health authority is the only way to tackle this challenge effectively. Therefore, St John has trained several of their own nurses as well as general nursing staff across Palestine to screen for the disease and are working closely with the health authority to ensure the best model of care is in place.
St John Eye Hospital’s other strand of work concerns research which is led by Dr Nahed Mikki. She is ensuring that everyone involved has a full understanding of the level of awareness of the condition, both medical staff and local population. Her work has been published in the Lancet Journal and she has attended several international conferences to present her findings.