(L-R Standing): Dr. Lundie Richards – Director for Health Services, Planning & Integration, Ministry of Health;   Mrs. Fayval Williams – Minister of State in the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service; Dr. Tunde Peto - Consultant Ophthalmologist from Moorfield Eye Hospital in London; Ms. Marcia Zondervan – Manager for the Vision 2020 LINKS Programme; Professor Horace Fletcher – Dean, Faculty of Medical Sciences at the University of the West Indies; Dr. Carl Bruce – Medical Chief of Staff, UHWI; Dr. Lizette Mowatt – Head, Ophthalmic Division, UHWI

(L-R Sitting): Mr. Kevin Allen – Chief Executive Officer, UHWI; Mr. Peter Mitchell – Homerton University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, London

With diabetic retinopathy being the leading cause of blindness for people between the ages of 30 and 64 worldwide, the University Hospital of the West Indies (UHWI), with the help of the Homerton University NHS Foundation Trust in London, United Kingdom and the Vision 2020 LINKS programme, is on a mission to reduce the prevalence of the disease in Jamaica.


In 2014, the Vision 2020 LINKS Programme between UHWI’s Eye Clinic and Homerton University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK.  The aim of this is to improve the screening of diabetic eye disease (diabetic retinopathy). Screening will allow early detection, early treatment and with time reduce the prevalence of blindness from diabetic retinopathy. The screening will be done by the island's first Nurse led diabetic retinopathy screening (DRS) clinic. Special photography of the back of the eye (retina) with the use of a special camera called a Fundus Camera will be used to examine the eye.


A reconditioned TOPCON Fundus Camera was donated to the UHWI Ophthalmic Division, in addition to this, our medical and nursing staff received specialized training in London and also by the visiting in March 2016.  The team from Homerton University, Moorfields Eye Hospital and Vision 2020 LINKS programme in the UK, was in Jamaica from, March 13th to 20th, 2016.  In addition to conducting lectures and teaching sessions, they assisted our local team to get the Clinic implemented. This was made possible through the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust Fund (QEDJT).  This will assist the excellence in eye care that our Eye Clinic, UHWI  strives towards. The Ophthalmic division will continue it work "Saving sight, one eye at a time"


The official launch for the DRS Clinic, along with the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding was staged at the UHWI ICU-B Seminar Room on Wednesday, March 16th, 2016 at 11:00 a.m.