World Glaucoma Week – trialling innovative Glaucoma treatment in Africa

Posted on: Thursday, 16th March, 2017

As part of World Glaucoma Week (12-18 March) CBM’s pioneering glaucoma treatment trial in Tanzania has been highlighted by the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB).

Laura Gore CBM UK’s Programme Manager for East Africa, writes on the IAPB blog this week:

“In Tanzania, CBM is trialling a relatively new laser treatment that has the potential to significantly improve treatment for glaucoma patients in Africa. Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty (SLT) is currently mainly used in high-income countries but has never been trialled in sub-Saharan Africa. It offers the possibility of a one-off or occasionally repeated outpatient treatment for glaucoma.”

“In a country like Tanzania, this could be absolutely transformational for people who have Glaucoma. No longer would they have to purchase, store and then take eye drops (already out of reach for so many people because of the cost or distance to travel to hospital). The trial will help to establish SLT’s long-term clinical efficacy and its acceptance among patients.”

Glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness worldwide after cataracts. But unlike cataracts, if untreated Glaucoma leads to permanent and irreversible blindness, so identifying the condition early and treating it effectively are vital.  In 2015 CBM treated over 15,000 people for Glaucoma in the poorest places of the world.

 

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