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Sight-Restoring Charity Explores the Threat of Diabetes

Sight-Restoring Charity Explores the Threat of Diabetes

The Fred Hollows Foundation NZ this month hosts a FRED Talk to discuss the rising threat of diabetes in Pacific communities. The speaker is Stephanie Emma, the Diabetes Technical Advisor for The Foundation and lecturer in the diabetes eye care program at The Foundation’s Pacific Eye Institute in Fiji.

Emma’s talk takes place on Friday 23 May and focuses on diabetic retinopathy, a condition where fluctuating blood sugar levels caused by diabetes damage the retina, followed by vision loss and blindness. With the early detection of diabetes and adoption of preventative measures, there is a greater likelihood of surviving the disease, therefore reducing the risk of diabetic retinopathy developing.

“Diabetes requires education and early intervention, unfortunately this is not happening in a robust nature throughout many nations and the consequences are horrendous” says Emma.

In addition to her work with The Foundation, Emma works as the General Manager of Mangere Community Health Trust, and has participated in the release of studies assessing diabetes screening, effects on the body, and social solutions.

Fred Hollows Foundation NZ Executive Director Andrew Bell commends Emma on her efforts to explore the issue.

“Ms. Emma is one of New Zealand’s leading voices on diabetes in the Pacific and skilled in setting up treatment systems, so we are excited to learn from her,” says Bell. “Some of the highest rates of diabetes worldwide are in the Pacific Islands. More and more cases are turning up at our surgical outreaches, so we need to know as much as we can about treatment and prevention.”

This is the second in The Foundation’s new lunchtime speaker series of FRED Talks, which invites experts from the field to share their stories and experience.

The talk begins at 12:30pm at The Foundation’s Newmarket office, and will be followed by a Q&A session, ending by 2pm.


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