With Diabetes Hitting Indigenous Communities Hard, I.D.E.A.S. Van Hits the Road to Provide Mobile Treatment

The I.D.E.A.S. Van on the road. Photo courtesy www.ideasvan.org

 

Did you know that the proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people living with diabetes is over eight times higher than other Australians?

Moogji Aboriginal Council East Gippsland Inc, in Orbost, recently hosted the exciting launch of the Indigenous Diabetes, Eyes and Screening (I.D.E.A.S.) program.

The I.D.E.A.S. Van will be back at Moogji in July to deliver treatment and is expected to be in the area five times between now and December.

The I.D.E.A.S Van is a mobile facility that houses three treatment rooms, providing Ophthalmology outreach services and screening for people at diabetic risk who may otherwise not seek eye assessment.

Diabetes is the fastest growing chronic condition in Australia; increasing at a faster rate than heart disease and cancer.

Diabetes is the leading cause of preventable blindness in Australia. Around one third of Australians with diabetes have some form of eye disease. Most of these have diabetic retinopathy but diabetes can also cause glaucoma and cataracts.

The I.D.E.A.S. Van will be back at Moogji in July to deliver treatment and is expected to be in the area five times between now and December.

The I.D.E.A.S. Van is part of the Look Out Project, an initiative of the Rural Workforce Agency, Victoria aiming to deliver ophthalmology outreach services at selected Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations.

BRHS will hold a NAIDOC Week event on Tuesday, July 9, from 2 p.m. More info here.

A retinal photography camera is also now located at Moogji in Orbost.

I.D.E.A.S. Van staff will be training Aboriginal Health Practitioners and others to use the camera so that screening and referrals can be organised in between van visits.

Success of the program could see the project extended a further two years.

Learn more about the I.D.E.A.S. Van at www.ideasvan.org