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Australian Indigenous HealthBulletin Alcohol and other drugs knowledge centre Yarning Places

Indigenous eye checks a priority

Date posted: 20 December 2013

Aboriginal people with diabetes are advised to have an annual eye check according to Professor Hugh R Taylor AC, Harold Mitchell Chair of Indigenous Eye Health, University of Melbourne.

Eye exams have recently been added to the Indigenous adult health check to provide another opportunity for any issues to be picked up and referred for treatment. Up to 98% of blindness from diabetes is preventable with early detection, intervention and timely treatment.

A pair of glasses can improve a person’s quality of life and cataract surgery can restore sight overnight. Australia is the only developed country in the world to still have trachoma, and although rates are declining in some areas, with improved hygiene, antibiotics and surgery, blindness from trachoma can be eliminated.

'We require consistent government commitment from the Commonwealth and the State and Territory Governments to better utilise available resources to coordinate care. We have the treatments, its time to make sure that the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who aren’t able to access eye care can get it', said Professor Taylor.

Source: The Melbourne newsroom


Media enquiries:
Anne Rahilly
Ph: (03) 9035 5380


Last updated: 6 January 2014
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