BBC Storyworks has today launched a series, Turning the Tide, which will showcase The Fred Hollows Foundation’s work in Bangladesh to help end vision loss caused by diabetic eye disease (also known as diabetic retinopathy).

In Bangladesh, nearly seven million people live with diabetes and more than three million of them are undiagnosed. Diabetic retinopathy is the world’s leading cause of blindness among working age people.

Turning the Tide is a series of 26 mini-documentaries spotlighting the work of organisations and communities taking action on non-communicable diseases, like diabetes. They are being launched today in Sharjah at the Global NCD Ailliance Forum.

The Foundation’s CEO Ian Wishart said the organisation was proud to be part of an international series placing a much-needed spotlight on non-communicable diseases.

“Diabetes is becoming a global pandemic and can lead to irreversible vision loss if not treated in time,” Mr Wishart said.

“Sadly, due to poorly integrated eye care services, many people in Bangladesh lack access to routine eye checks which could detect diabetic retinopathy early.

“The Foundation has a great relationship with Bangladesh, where together with local partners we train nurses, doctors and health workers to look for the signs of diabetic retinopathy.

“We’re also working to integrate eye health into existing services that care for people with diabetes, because many people don’t realise it can lead to blindness.

“In doing this, we can limit the number of people in Bangladesh and around the world who lose their vision when they simply don’t have to.”

Over the past year in Bangladesh, The Fred Hollows Foundation screened more than 360,000 people, performed more than 19,000 eye operations and treatments, and educated 46,000 community members in eye health.

Some photos of The Foundation’s work in Bangladesh found here:

BBC Storyworks’ ‘Turning the Tide’ series can be found at:

Media inquiries:
Esther Au, Comms and PR Manager, Ph: (02) 8741 1946, E: [email protected]
Tennessee Lang, Comms and PR Advisor, Ph: (02) 8741 1988, E: [email protected]