Dr. V.K. Raju Follows American Medical Association Award with Expanded Mission to Fight Diabetic Retinopathy in India and Worldwide
MORGANTOWN, W.Va., June 4, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — Dr. V.K. Raju, founder and medical director of the Eye Foundation of America, announced today that he is expanding efforts to help those who are at risk for blindness from diabetic retinopathy. In doing so, he is organizing a special mission to rural areas of India and beyond.
Diabetic retinopathy is the result of blood sugar levels weakening blood vessels in the retina. Over time this causes blood to seep into the eye – often leading to blindness.
The International Diabetes Federation estimates that nearly 20 percent of the world’s population with diabetes (61.3 million people) lives in India.
Dr. Raju and The Eye Foundation of America know that just as dire as those statistics are, the prevalence of people going blind from diabetic retinopathy in rural India is an immense concern.
Data suggests that if diabetic retinopathy is detected and treated early, blindness can be averted up to 90 percent of the time. Dr. Raju is striving to bring that level of success to rural India where screenings are rare and access to treatment is virtually nonexistent.
“Blindness from diabetic retinopathy is so preventable that our upcoming mission will have a profound effect on the life of virtually every person that we treat,” Dr. Raju said.
Raju comments further, “Diabetes and its complications are going to be the worst in developing nations. Most of the organizations concentrate on cataract blindness and diabetic blindness may become 15 times worse than cataract blindness. Most of the cataract blindness is in relatively older people, whereas diabetic blindness can affect individuals during their more productive years.”
The Eye Foundation of America, yet this year, will deploy healthcare teams for eye care clinics in India and beyond, including other countries such as Tanzania. Dr. Raju, himself, with support team members will spend time in India during July, September and November and South Africa in December.
Dr. Raju’s announcement comes on the heels of him receiving the American Medical Association’s (AMA) Dr. Nathan David International Award. This highly prestigious Excellence in Medicine Award honors Dr. Raju as an extraordinary person in medicine helping to document his luminary status.
It recognizes his efforts for his contributions in the fight against blindness and offers tribute to the individual lives that he has touched through sight saving procedures worldwide.
The Eye Foundation of America is dedicated to combating avoidable blindness. It has advanced the visual health of more than 1.7 million people in 21 countries. As founder, Dr. Raju has more than 30 years of experience in providing free and subsidized eye treatment in remote areas of developing countries.
SOURCE The Eye Foundation of America