Online training for indigenous eye health

The Remote Area Health Corps (RAHC) has partnered with the Indigenous Eye Health Unit at the University of Melbourne to launch what is said to be Australia's first free online training resources on eye health and diabetes.

The Alice Springs-based RAHC, which offers short-term paid placements for medical staff in remote indigenous communities, will host the resources on its website. It already hosts online resources about ear and oral health as well as chronic disease management for remote indigenous people.

The modules have been developed to meet criteria for continuing professional development programs with the RACGP and ACRRM, as well as the Optometrists Association Australia and the Australian Primary Health Care Nurses Association (APNA).

Hugh Taylor, head of the IEHU, said no indigenous person with diabetes should go for more than 12 months without an eye exam.

“The new eye health and diabetes eLearning module is a critical step in ensuring these annual eye exams happen,” Professor Taylor said.

“Our already established trachoma module has been outstandingly successful and we have recently updated it with information from the new national guidelines.”

Research has shown that only 20 per cent of indigenous adults with diabetes have had an eye examination in the previous year. Treatment such as laser therapy, when used in a timely fashion, is effective in preventing severe vision loss in up to 98 per cent of cases.

Posted in Allied Health

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