Rotary Club of St. Martin Sunrise to assist with structuring collaboration for eye project ensuring access to all in need of eye screening

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PHOTO CUTLINE: Several physicians, staff of the Collective Prevention Services, a Department in the Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labour, and personnel from WYCF took part in a training workshop on how to use the fundus camera.

PHILIPSBURG – President of Rotary Club St. Martin Sunrise Virginia Asin, says the next step regarding the Rotary Fundus Camera Project will be the facilitation and fostering of a structured collaboration between the partners, the American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine (AUC), the White and Yellow Cross Foundation (WYCF), and Government, where it concerns creating awareness about the prevention of diabetes mellitus and the promotion of the service and access to all in need of eye screening.

Last month Asin, chair-lady of the organizing committee that saw the materialisation of the Rotary Fundus Camera Project, which was launched at the WYCF on April 18, says the fundus camera is used for ‘fundus photography,’ which is the creation of a photograph of the interior surface of the eye, including the retina, optic disc, macula, and posterior pole.

The technology is used for screening of retinopathy in persons with diabetes and or hypertension.

Retinopathy is due to persistent or acute damage to the retina of the eye.  Ongoing damaging may occur over periods of time where the patient is not fully aware of the extent of the disease.

Frequently, retinopathy is a manifestation of a complication of a systemic disease as soon in diabetes or hypertension.  Diabetic retinopathy is the leading cause of blindness in working-aged people.  Diabetic retinopathy may not cause symptoms until it is quite advanced which is why screening is important.  All people with diabetes are at risk of getting diabetic retinopathy.

This project was a joint initiative of all Rotary Clubs on Dutch Sint Maarten, from Suriname and the Cayman Islands, along with partners, the Government of Sint Maarten, AUC and WYCF.

The overall objective of the project is to reduce and ultimately prevent blindness as a complication of diabetes and/or hypertension in patients with these disorders.

PHOTO CUTLINE: Several physicians, staff of the Collective Prevention Services, a Department in the Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labour, and personnel from WYCF took part in a training workshop on how to use the fundus camera.