Major diabetes eye-health campaign up for Scottish charity award

Benedict Jephcote
Tue, 08 May 2018
Major diabetes eye-health campaign up for Scottish charity award
A Scottish health campaign aimed at getting thousands of people with diabetes to attend their annual eye-screening appointment has been nominated for an award.

The idea behind the initiative, nominated for a Scottish Charity Award, was to educate people about the importance of getting their eyes regularly checked.

According to the Scottish Diabetes Survey 2016 more than 42,000 people who are eligible for eye screening appointments had not attended one during the previous 15 months.

The Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) Scotland and Diabetes Scotland teamed up to launch the campaign.

Diabetic retinopathy is a common complication of diabetes and the leading cause of sight loss in adults. However, if eye changes are detected early, then treatment can be carried out to prevent any further damage. That is why attending eye appointments is so important.

A 90-second film was screened across 76 cinemas during National Eye Health Week and it has been estimated that around 2.4 million people may have viewed the trailer.

Titled, 'How do you see Scotland?', the message was narrated by actor Brian Cox CBE, best known for starring in the Hollywood blockbusters Rob Roy, X-Men 2 and Churchill, who has type 2 diabetes himself.

A series of distorted photos of iconic Scottish landmarks were also released on postcards and distributed to nearly 1,000 GP practices or health centres. The pictures were created to emulate how vision might be affected should someone develop advanced diabetic retinopathy.

Claire Fleming from Diabetes Scotland said: "We raised awareness of this serious, often symptomless, condition and how permanent sight loss can be prevented through screening. Health messages can sometimes struggle to capture attention.

"Our film sought to subvert the familiar tourism advert, catching audience expectations off guard when the scenery becomes blotchy, before asking 'How do you see Scotland?'."

Voting for the Scottish Charity Awards closes at 5pm on Friday, May 18 and winners will be announced at an awards ceremony on Thursday, June 14, 2018.
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