Queens University Belfast + Benjamin Mkapa Hospital, Tanzania

This project is to implement a photography based diabetic eye-screening programme for patients with diabetes in the Dodoma region, Tanzania. The Dodoma region has 3 million people and 7 district hospitals (in addition to Benjamin Mkapa Hospital, BMH, which is the Southern partner on this grant) where patients with diabetes are managed.

The ultimate aim is to reduce blindness and visual impairment secondary to diabetic eye disease which will allow people to remain employed and be able to live independently. This reduces dependence on social services and as such has the possibility of reducing poverty in the long-run. It is well established in the literature that good quality eye-health provision has a significant contribution to Sustainable Developmental Goals. With the large number of people with diabetes, this programme will have far-reaching consequences in years to come as the population is to benefit from timely diabetic eye disease treatment. Success of this project will be measured by the establishment of a functioning region-wide screening programme, that is designed to become self-sustaining, and an increased number of patients given timely sight-saving treatment who in many cases will have been asymptomatic and unaware that they had sight threatening diabetic eye disease in need of treatment. Impact can be ensured by treating patients on time with sight-saving treatment so people with diabetes can remain at work and remain socially and financially active. This will be measured by recording demographics and relevant eye-health data together with severity of the disease, treatment required and the visual outcomes at the end of the treatment.