The Diabetes Issue

Updated: Oct 6, 2019

EFA Fights Diabetes Globally

The Eye Foundation of America (EFA) is beginning a new mission called “100,000 Lives” to detect and treat diabetes in India and other developing countries. Its goal is to impact at least 100,000 lives by diagnosing diabetes early. Diabetes is a major cause of diabetic retinopathy, a condition where blood sugar weakens blood vessels in the retina. The vessels become leaky and cause swelling of the retina which can cause blindness. Children are becoming an increasingly large part of the diabetes epidemic, but often are diagnosed too late to prevent blindness and other diseases. In developing countries, fewer people have access to early diagnosis and treatment. In India, it is estimated that one million children have diabetes. In addition to blindness, diabetes can cause high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, kidney failure, and nervous system damage, among other chronic and life- threatening problems. EFA would like to extend thanks to the many organizations, companies, and individual donors who have contributed money, services, and equipment to make this project possible.

  • Partners include the Heart and Hand for the Handicapped (HHH)

  • LKC Technologies

  • American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI)

  • Global Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (GAPIO).

The Foundation is especially grateful to Apollo Hospitals for its collaboration during the organizational phases.

More About Diabetes

According to the Center for Disease Control, 25.8 million Americans had diabetes in 2010. This comprises 8.3 percent of the U.S. population. 215,000 Americans younger than age 20 in 2010 had diabetes. According to the International Diabetes Federation, 61.3 million people in India had diabetes in 2011. India is ranked second in the world in diabetes prevalence, just behind China. Many people in both India and America remain undiagnosed. In America for example, of the 25.8 million afflicted with diabetes in 2010, Seven million did not know they had the disease. Diabetes is an enormous healthcare burden. For example, in the U.S., direct medical costs of diabetes for 2007 were estimated to be $116 billion and indirect medical costs (i.e. disability, lost wages) are even higher.

Study Looks at Diabetes in WV

West Virginia has a high rate of incidence of diabetes, with more than 150,000 type 2 (adult-onset) diabetes, according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC). It is estimated that 500,000 West Virginians have pre-diabetes, but many don’t know it. Ranjita Misra, Ph.D., Professor and Director of the Public Health Practice Program at West Virginia University, is directing a small study to provide the basis for a larger, statewide intervention to help diabetics manage and even prevent the disease.

Raju Receives Prestigious AMA Award

V.K. Raju, MD, EFA’s founder and medical director, recently was honored for his thirty-four-year global crusade to prevent avoidable blindness. He received the American Medical Association Foundation’s (AMA’s) Nathan Davis International Award for “Excellence in Medicine.” It is given each year to one physician who exemplifies excellence in the medical profession.

EFA Friend Donates Estate

A donor, grateful patient and longtime Foundation friend recently let us know that she has pledged her entire estate to the EFA. The Foundation is more than pleased with this very generous contribution to our future needs for advancing the global fight against avoidable blindness. This donor felt a special connection with the Foundation because she had vision-saving surgery for glaucoma and cataracts. The donation will go a long way because EFA delivers services as cost-efficiently as possible. For example, as little as a nickel a year, the price of a Vitamin A supplement can help prevent avoidable blindness in a child. Cataract surgery costs only a few hundred dollars and gives 70 or more years of life to a child.

Hertle Revisits Goutami

Richard Hertle, MD

He has visited the Goutami Eye Institute so many times that Richard Hertle M.D. has become a very familiar face there. Director of Pediatric Ophthalmology at Children’s Hospital in Akron, Ohio, Hertle is a world- renowned specialist in children’s eye problems, including strabismus (crossed eyes).

Goutami’s Gour Visits U.S.

Vineet Gour, M.D., a vitreo-retinal specialist from The Goutami Eye Institute visited the U.S. recently, where he attended the November 13 American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) meeting in New Orleans. He is an expert in treating premature babies with retinal problems (retinopathy of prematurity).

Passing Along Knowledge

The American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) invited three individuals well known to the Foundation to teach cataract surgery at its annual conference, November 16 through 29, 2013, in New Orleans, Louisiana. V.K Raju, EFA Medical Director and Founder, Dr G. Madhavi, Medical Director of the Goutami Eye Institute, and Dr. Leela Raju, Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC), and EFA Secretary, taught the course to more than 50 participants from many countries.

Leela Raju, MD

The group also presented a poster at AAO about school health screenings, which are an effective method of identifying children’s vision problems early enough to prevent long-term vision problems or blindness. Such screenings are usually conducted by teachers who refer children for further treatment if needed. The method is one of the most cost-effective health interventions, because each screening costs as little as nine cents per child.

Help Fight Diabetic Eye Disease

The Eye Foundation’s 2014 goal is to continue preventing blindness throughout the world, in part by diagnosing and treating diabetes before it causes blindness or other illnesses. If you can contribute to our cause, please do. Our tax exempt number is 55-0621735

Visit our website to donate by credit card:

Or make out checks to EFA and send them to:

Eye Foundation of America 695 Westview Avenue

Morgantown, WV, 26505

The Foundation is always grateful for any gift, large or small.

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