WORLD RETINA WEEK 24th to 30Th September

11 September 2018

WORLD RETINA WEEK 24th to 30Th September


 World Retina Week- 24 to 30 September is the start of Eye Care Awareness Month in South Africa. Retina South Africa is calling a CODE RED during this week to support the Screen for Life project to save both vision and lives.

 We live in the midst of an unprecedented epidemic of diabetes. Unfortunately, signs of the disease may not manifest until late in the disease process. Treatment at this stage is less effective and more expensive.  

 People affected by complications often complain that they wish that they had known of their risk before the complications happened. This would have given them a chance to change their lifestyle in time to prevent further damage.

 Technology is available to predict risk of heart attack, stroke, kidney failure, amputation and blindness many years before these happen. This can be done by taking a photograph of the retina with a special camera.  The eye is literally a window to health.


The Screen for Life Charter has been launched to provide a common unifying cause for a national screening programme that will significantly reduce the impact of the diabetic epidemic on the South African population. It is supported by a coalition of screeners, providers of medical care, funders, corporates, NPO’s and people living with diabetes and their families. Retina South Africa is a proud signatory to the Charter.  The founding statement for the charter is:

 “We believe that nobody should lose life, limb or go blind without being afforded the opportunity of prior warning available by photo-screening.”

Anyone with Diabetes or elevated blood sugar levels should request a retinal fundus photograph from their Eye Specialist, immediately.

 Claudette Medefindt, Head of Science for Retina South Africa says, “Retinal vision loss such as Diabetic Retinopathy [DR], Age related Macular Degeneration and Inherited forms of retinal dystrophies are one of the major causes of blindness worldwide. Diabetes Type 2 may be preventable through diet and lifestyle changes. The latest research indicates that these life style choices are also one of the most important risk factors for Age Related Macular degeneration. Screen for vision- screen for life.”

 For more information go to: and

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