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Eyes on Diabetes - Discussing Diabetic Retinopathy

Info for Health Professionals

ICEE - International Centre for Eyecare Education

ICEE is a non-profit, non-government collaborative organisation which aims to eliminate avoidable blindness and low vision due to uncorrected refractive error, which simply means the need for spectacles. 


ICEE is forming part of Vision 2020: The Right to Sight - the Global Initiative to Eliminate Avoidable Blindness and Low Vision by the Year 2020, established by an alliance of the World Health Organisation, the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness, and the Partnership Committee of the International Non-Government Development Organisations.

ICEE and diabetes

Many Aboriginal people are losing their vision because of entirely preventable or treatable causes.  Aboriginal people in Australia suffer up to 10 times the level of blindness from preventable eye disease than non-Aboriginal people.  For example, diabetes and associated eye disease has a high prevalence amongst the Aboriginal population, and the rate of cataract is double that of the non-Aboriginal population.

New eye clinics established at Aboriginal Medical Services in NSW with the help of ICEE are meeting a great need in Aboriginal health care.  The NSW Eye Clinics provide eyecare and vision correction within Aboriginal community controlled health services.

One of the particular targets of the Eye Clinics is care for diabetics.  Diabetes and associated eye disease has a high prevalence amongst the Aboriginal population.  People with diabetes are at risk of blindness due to diabetic retinopathy, but regular eye checks and treatment can prevent vision loss.  The Eye Clinics work closely with the Aboriginal Medical Services in identifying and following up diabetics for treatment. Clinics have been established at Redfern in Sydney, Walgett, Moree, Wellington, Bega, Nowra, Wagga Wagga, and Kempsey.  It is expected that between 2000 and 2400 patients annually will receive eyecare through the ICEE Clinics.


ICEE - International Centre for Eyecare Education

Rupert Myers Building

University of New South Wales

Sydney NSW 2052

Ph: 02 9385 7435; Fax 02 9385 7436; Email:



Useful Links

Important information can be found on the websites of associated organsiations.

Useful Links for Health Professionals

More Info for Health Professionals

What is Diabetes

What is diabetic retinopathy?

Retinopathy Chart

Relevant Eye Care Journal Articles

Professional Journals of Interest

Medicare and Optometry

Royal Victorian Institute for the Blind - Free Publications List

Royal Victorian Institute For the Blind - Services Booklet

Vision Australia

RVIB - Working with People who have Vision Loss

NHMRC Guidelines for Diabetic Retinopathy

ICEE - International Centre for Eyecare Education

ICEE Media Release

Redfern Aboriginal Eye Care Clinic

RVEEH Retinopathy Poster

Lions Eye Health Program - Australia resource materials

Australian Lions Working with the Vietnamese Community

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Australian Lions working with the Turkish Community

Diabetic retinopathy diagnosis and managment

Australian Optometrists detect Diabetic Retinopathy

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