A $2.8 million funding boost will help Diabetes Australia deliver new programs to help reduce the rates of preventable diabetes-related blindness and limb amputation.
Diabetes Australia welcomed the Morrison Government’s announcement of new funding for Foot Forward – a new diabetes-related amputations prevention initiative, and funding for KeepSight – a new initiative to promote diabetes eye checks and prevent vision loss and blindness.
Diabetes Australia CEO Professor Greg Johnson said the funding was very important in developing national complications prevention programs for the 1.3 million Australians currently living with diabetes.
“It was great to see the Morrison Government announce this important funding during National Diabetes Week,” Professor Johnson said.
“One of the reasons why diabetes has such a major impact on people’s lives and Australia’s health system is because of the debilitating complications it can cause. People with diabetes-related complications affecting their feet, eyes, hearts, kidneys and other problems occupy about one third of Australia’s hospital beds.
“The great opportunity is that most of these diabetes-related complications are preventable if we check people with diabetes more often, detect problems earlier and help people access the many good early treatments available – before small issues develop into more serious problems. That is what Foot Forward and KeepSight will promote.
“Every year, there are more than 10,000 hospital admission for diabetes foot problems, and more than 4,400 diabetes-related amputations – but up to 85% of these are preventable.
“Foot Forward will promote regular foot checks to detect problems early, when they are more easily treatable, and stronger referral to the network of diabetes high risk foot services across Australia.
“Diabetes is the leading cause of blindness in working age Australians, and most vision loss and blindness caused by diabetes is preventable if we ensure all Australians with diabetes have regular diabetes eye checks. Unfortunately, about half of all people with diabetes do not have their eyes checked regularly.
“KeepSight is a new initiative to provide alerts, reminders and recalls for to help people schedule eye checks and Diabetes Australia is partnering with eye care providers, including all optometrists, across Australia who can provide these diabetes eye checks.”