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J Vis Commun Med. 2006 Jun;29(2):66-75.

Diabetic screening in Western Australia: a photographer's perspective.

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  • 1Lions Eye Institute Centre for Opthamology and Visual Science, University of Western Australia, Perth Western Australia.


Western Australia has a large landmass and low population density. Dating back to the 1970s and even today, specialist medical services are often lacking or non-existent outside of Perth, the capital city. Diabetes has always been a major health problem, particularly in the Australian Aboriginal community. In conjunction with the Lions Save Sight Foundation and Diabetes Foundation of Western Australia a diabetic screening programme was initiated in 1978 for rural and remote diabetics. The programme aimed to screen for diabetic retinopathy, educate diabetics, medical and paramedical personnel and to arrange treatment for sight threatening eye disease. Eye screening continues to date although the role of the Lions Eye Institute has changed from programme initiator to reading centre and teaching unit, and continues to evolve with changing technologies.

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