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WINGS (West Indian Society of Glaucoma Surgeons) and GiFT (Glaucoma iFoundation Outreach Team) in Trinidad and Tobago: the glaucoma marathon

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Session Details

Session Title: Orbis Free Paper session

Session Date/Time: Monday 15/09/2014 | 11:45-12:45

Paper Time: 11:51

Venue: Capital Suite 14 (Level 3)

First Author: : S.Lalchan TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO

Co Author(s): :    D. Murray              

Abstract Details

Purpose:

Glaucoma-related blindness in the Caribbean is an eye opener. The earlier age, advanced optic neuropathy, rapid progression coupled with education and cultural barriers all make for a unique challenge. The initiative to develop the professional body (WINGS) and patient-focused support group, hopes to improve care in this high risk population.

Setting:

Trinidad and Tobago

Methods:

The national blind registry in 2000 showed 28% was from glaucoma. Local epidemiology data (n 68patients, 131eyes) showed mean CCT of 529um, with 80% of patients having a CCT <555um. Additionally, 28% of patients with open angle glaucoma were found to have a first/second degree relative with glaucoma. To further compound these ‘glaucoma composites’, misconceptions surrounding laser and surgery result in delayed treatment. In lieu of the above, the professionals drive to initiate, implement and adopt improved glaucoma practise and improved awareness led to WINGS and GiFT. These local initiatives will improve equity, sustainability and accessibility to glaucoma care in the developing world.

Results:

WINGS has an elected executive body with the motto ‘Glaucoma awareness- a responsibility we all share’. The goals are to improve surgical training with emphasis on ‘Moorfield’s safe surgery’ and foster an evidenced based approach to local research. GiFT was launched with patients at the core of doctor-patient relationship. This non-profit organisation already has incorporated the local LIONS club for the first public glaucoma screening. It has engaged other local professionals such as pharmacists, to highlight the importance of early ‘targeted’ screening. GiFT hopes to incorporate optic nerve imaging into its pre-perimetric screening protocol to increase early detection, this seems to be a critical rate-limiting step in the authors’ opinion.

Conclusions:

The statistics for developing countries are staggering with 90% of glaucoma patients under diagnosed. The challenges and ergo the solutions are different. WINGS and GiFT aim to focus on glaucoma care by addressing key components as education, awareness, professional development and evidenced based medicine. These local initiatives are important in achieving a sustainable, equitable and accessible care to these high risk populations. Get set, get ready, let’s go. The authors declare no financial conflicts.

Financial Interest:

NONE

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