Recognising that Diabetic Retinopathy is likely to pose a public health challenge in India coupled with the associated complications of diabetes, the first of its kind “Certificate Course in Evidence Based Management of Diabetic Retinopathy (CCDR Cycle I)” was announced in Pune today.
The course is a unique 4 months executive on the job PAN-India program that aims to build capacity amongst primary care physicians to address management, counselling, referral and prevention of Diabetic Retinopathy. It is designed, delivered and implemented by Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI), along with academic partners Dr. Mohan’s Diabetes Education Academy (DMDEA), Chennai; Aravind Eye Care System, Madurai and supported by an educational grant from The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust (QEDJT) with funding from The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust. The QEDJT was set up on the recommendation of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Australia in 2011 (CHOGM) and therefore the onus of responsibility is on all member countries of the Commonwealth.
Diabetic retinopathy (DR), one of the foremost causes of blindness world-wide, is a neurovascular disorder that affects minute blood vessels of the retina and eventually causes painless loss of vision and blindness. DR accounts for 3% of blindness in India. It is now among the most important causes of visual loss during the productive years of life. DR occurs both in type 1 and type 2 diabetes and studies have shown that nearly all type 1 and up to 80 % of type 2 diabetes will develop DR after 15 years duration of diabetes.
Present on the occasion to launch the Certificate Course in Evidence Based Management of Diabetic Retinopathy (CCDR) Cycle-I was Shri Nitin R. Desai- Chairman, PBMA’S H.V. Desai Eye Hospital along with Dr. GVS Murthy, Director, Indian Institute of Public Health, Hyderabad (IIPH-H) and Principal Investigator of the Certificate Course in Evidence Based Management of Diabetic Retinopathy, Dr. C.S. Yajnik, Diabetologist- KEM Hospital, Pune, Dr. Udyan Dixit, Senior Retina-Specialist- Pune, Major Gen. Deepak Kalra-VSM, Mj. Med. Southern Command and Chief Medical Director- Col. (Retd.) M. Deshpande VSM, Regional Faculty - Dr. Yogesh Kadam and Dr. Kuldeep Dole from Pune along with leading primary care physicians from Pune region.
Announcing the first cycle of the Diabetic Retinopathy course, Prof GVS Murthy said, “Diabetic retinopathy is one of the important causes of preventable blindness especially in the productive years among Indians. The increasing incidence of diabetic blindness is a major public health concern hence there is an urgent need to address this ever increasing health hazard. To manage, treat and to prevent the complications of DR we need a trained set of doctors who are equipped with the latest technology, and follow the cutting-edge international and national guidelines. At PHFI, IIPH, and our partner organisations Dr. Mohan’s Diabetes Education Academy (DMDEA), Aravind Eye Care System, the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust and The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust, the endeavour is to help strengthen education, training, and research in the area of public health. The announcement of the 1st Cycle of Diabetic Retinopathy course is a step further to tackle the rising prevalence of diabetes and its related complications, aiming to strengthen the capacity of primary care doctors to deal with the enormous challenges that Diabetic Retinopathy poses, with the ultimate aim of improving the health outcomes of people.”
Prof D. Prabhakaran, Vice President – Research, PHFI and Co-PI, CCDR Cycle I, PHFI said, “There is a high burden of Diabetic Retinopathy in India and there is very limited attention to this problem both from a provider as well as population prospective. Given that early diagnosis and treatment remain the cornerstone of management of Diabetic Retinopathy, there is an urgent need to build capacity in early identification and management of DR. With an aim to make an impact on diabetes and its related complications such as Diabetic Retinopathy, PHFI along with its national and global partners announces a PAN-India DR course that will ultimately benefit patients with Diabetic Retinopathy. This course is a well-designed compendium that provides practical and simple tips for disease detection and management for primary care doctors. In addition it also improve the knowledge on recent advances in DR.”
Dr. Sandeep Bhalla, Director, CCDR, Cycle I, PHFI said, “Recently various studies have indicated that the complications of Diabetic Retinopathy can be delayed or prevented by timely intervention. At PHFI it is our endeavour to help strengthen education, training, and research in the area of Public Health. The launch of the 1st Cycle of CCDR is a step further to tackle the rising prevalence Diabetic Retinopathy aiming to strengthen the capacity of doctors to deal with the enormous challenges it poses, with the ultimate aim of improving the health outcomes of people.”
Emphasizing that there is a shortage of trained physicians to tackle the burden of Diabetic Retinopathy in the state, Dr. Kuldeep Dole, Medical Director, H.V. Desai Eye Hospital Pune and regional faculty for CCDR Course at Pune said, “To prevent the increasing prevalence percentage of diabetic retinopathy in the state the need is to have a trained set of doctors who are equipped with the latest advancements, and follow the cutting-edge international and national guidelines. The CCDR course is a well-designed compendium that will help tackle the challenges of disease detection and management, further familiarizing doctors with advancements in the subject.”
Dr. Yogesh Kadam, Associate Professor, B.J. Medical College, Pune and co-regional faculty for the course added that “This uniquely designed course serves as a model curriculum which is both effective and feasible in preventing and managing Diabetic Retinopathy, aiming to strengthen the capacity of doctors to tackle the widespread challenges in screening and management.”
The Certificate Course in Evidence Based Management of Diabetic Retinopathy is a four modular course (February 2016 – May 2016) spread across 8 states, I Union Territory and 10 cities in 10 regional training centers across India. With designated two regional faculty (1 Diabetologist or Endocrinologist and 1 Retina Specialist) at each centre, the primary objective of the course is to enhance knowledge, skills and core competencies of practicing Primary Care Physicians in management of Diabetic Retinopathy. The course further aims to develop a standard teaching protocol and module for evidence based learning on Diabetic Retinopathy, update practicing/primary care physicians with the latest advancements in the field of Diabetic Retinopathy and ultimately build a network of Primary Care Physicians and specialists in the field of Diabetes and Retinopathy.