World Sight Day 2012


World Sight Day 2012

It is that time of the year again where eye care providers throughout the world make a concerted effort to recognize this global event held on the 2nd Thursday in October every year.

World Sight Day is the brainchild of the World Health Organisation and International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness and is a special day set aside to highlight to the unwitting public, the problem of preventable blindness in our global village.

At Lee Eye Centre, we have consistently recognized this day with a combined effort of all our staff members to increase awareness of blinding conditions of the eye; how to recognise them, how to treat them and how to prevent them.

This year, we have selected the theme of "Conquering Diabetic Blindness". Being a retinal specialist, I am particularly concerned with the lack of awareness amongst my patients of how diabetes can ravage their eyesight and significantly and negatively impact on their lives.

As mentioned in a previous post, diabetes is a marching epidemic throughout the world and even more so in Malaysia! To date, an estimated 15 to 20% of the population of Malaysia is diabetic or pre-diabetic and this is only those who have been examined. Including those ignorant souls walking about with undiagnosed diabetes, we could be looking at upwards of 30% of the population with diabetes! This is an alarming figure and is projected to proceed on an upward climb in the coming years.

This chronic disease carries with it significant complications affecting the heart, brain, kidneys, limbs, eyes and the list goes on. Because of its chronicity, diabetics pose a significant burden on the country's healthcare system as the longer someone has diabetes, the more likely they are going to develop complications from the disease. It is a billion dollar disease as the costs of looking after a diabetic who has had heart attack or stroke or on dialysis or is blind or wheelchair bound due to amputation of limb(s) are astronomical.

So what are we doing as a nation? There are efforts from the various medical associations to try and increase awareness of diabetes. At the same time, many non-profit government organizations are doing health related projects with the same objectives in mind. Health care professionals are also doing their part to try and improve education about diabetes amongst the public and to drive home the message. BUT there is still a lot more work to be done as our society is so ingrained with its old ways and Malaysians on the whole do not seem to exercise any will to take onus of their own health and lives. Education must start from our children and it must also start from within the home. So the parents themselves must be educated and have to lead by example.

Nevertheless, we at Lee Eye Centre shall continue to do our part however small it may be. So please feel free to join us at "Dewan Orang Ramai Bercham on 14th October 2012 from 10am to 2pm" where we shall be conducting a Public Forum and Free Eye Screening for the public. Light refreshments will be provided and there is no better way to spend a Sunday then to come listen to a Free talk, get a Free eye check and nibble on some Free food.

See you there!