SN celebrates World Diabetes Day (WDD) on November 14th
This year we conducted a camp for people with diabetes who were hospitalized for COVID 19 infection. The theme of WDD this year was to improve the access of care to people with diabetes.
There is evidence that patients with diabetes who additionally were hospitalised for Covid showed higher progression in diabetic retinopathy. This could be due to many reasons such as ischemia experienced in Covid or due to lack of access to eye care during lockdown and fear of stepping out to get eye care assessment done. Close to 600 patients were called on 14th November 2021 to the main branch for assessment. This was done over 2 weeks with the help of the Communication department and Diabetic retinopathy team who called eligible patients and gave appointments.
A battery of tests that included ocular and Covid history, vision assessment, ocular biomicroscopy and applanation tonometry. Following this the patients were dilated with mydriatic drop, fundus photograph was taken, their HbA1c was assessed with one prick test. Dilated fundus evaluation was planned to be done by an ophthalmologist.
Based on the diagnosis, the patients were given counselling and advice by dietician on controlling blood sugar levels. Additionally, this year special yoga which included breath control and simple yoga exercises were included.
Unfortunately, due to heavy rainfall and water lodging in many areas of Chennai, many elderly patients could not report on the specified date. Of the patients who reported, 68% patients had no diabetic retinopathy, 24% had diabetic retinopathy but showed no progression and 16% of patients who had progression were referred for additional investigations and treatment.
Besides this initiative, Dr Rajiv Raman wrote an article in “Hindu” a leading newspaper in Tamilnadu explaining Frequently Asked Questions on Diabetic retinopathy.
In addition, an article with input of Dr RRN on Diabetic Retinopathy written by Mr A P Irungovel, Manager- Medical Sociology was published in the Famous Tamil Weekly Kalki.