Snap, Share, and Win! Enter the Eye See You Holiday Contest Today

Posted on December 19th, 2016 by Peyton Thomas under News


The International Federation on Ageing is inviting amateur and professional photographers across Canada to join us in celebrating eye health this holiday season.

Tweet a photo of your favourite holiday sight using the hashtag #EyeSeeYou2016, and you will be automatically entered to win a brand new pair of Ray-Ban sunglasses, valued at $175.

Contest Rules

To participate, simply Tweet or post a photo on Facebook of your favourite holiday sight using the hashtag #EyeSeeYou2016. You will then be automatically entered to win a brand new pair of Ray-Ban sunglasses, valued at $175! 

The IFA (@IntFedAgeing) will be retweeting/reposting all submitted pictures.

All images submitted must have been taken by the person submitting the entry. 

Participants are able to submit a maximum of 3 photos.  If more than three photos are received, only the first three photos submitted will be eligible to win.

You have from December 19, 2016 to January 2, 2017 to submit your favourite photos.  On January 6, the photo that is most visually appealing and shows the most holiday spirit, creativity, and originality will be selected as the winner.

All photos submissions must be made by Canadian residents who are 18 years or older.

For more information, and to view full contest rules, click here.

Call for Expressions of Interest: Community-based social innovations for older people to identify case study sites in middle-income countries

Posted on December 16th, 2016 by Peyton Thomas under News, WHO

The World Health Organization Centre for Health Development (WHO Kobe Centre – WKC) and RAND Europe would like to invite expressions of interest for the identification of case-studies on community-based social innovations (CBSIs) that support older people in middle-income countries (MICs).

Deadline for submission: 31 December 2016

What are CBSIs?

Community-based social innovations (CBSIs) are initiatives that seek to empower older people to improve self-efficacy in caring for themselves and their peers, maintain well-being and promote social cohesion and inclusiveness. They can also help older people to access, understand and navigate health and social care systems. While they have the potential to improve care and autonomy for older people, as well as transform healthcare systems, more evidence is needed on CBSIs to improve our understanding of best practices and service delivery models that engage communities and span a spectrum of health and social services.

What CBSIs are we interested in?

We are interested in community-based initiatives aimed at improving health and well-being among older people at a community level. These may include initiatives implemented in a community with older people at the centre of the initiative, aiming to assist older persons to increase autonomy and to maintain or enhance their health and quality-of-life for as long as possible. These could also be run by the older persons themselves. We are looking for a broad range of such initiatives to select from.

Of particular interest are CBSIs in the following countries:

Europe and Central Asia (WHO European Region)

Albania, Armenia, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Georgia, Latvia (2012)*, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Republic of Moldova, Montenegro, Romania, Russian Federation (2012)*, Serbia, Turkey, Ukraine

East and South Asia

China, Viet Nam (WHO Western Pacific Region)

Sri Lanka, Thailand (WHO South-East Asia Region)

The Middle East and Africa

Iran (Islamic Republic of), Lebanon, Tunisia (WHO Eastern Mediterranean Region) Mauritius (WHO African Region)

The Americas (WHO Region of the Americas)

Central and Latin America

Argentina (2012)*, Brazil, Chile (2012)*, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Panama, Uruguay (2012)*

The Caribbean

Jamaica, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Dominica, Grenada

* While changes to the World Bank middle-income countries classification were made in 2012. we welcome applications from these countries as well.

Follow the link to the WHO Kobe Centre Site for more information. 

New landmark study reveals adults with diabetes at unnecessary risk of vision loss

Posted on November 14th, 2016 by Peyton Thomas under News

Newbury, 14 November 2016 – Despite vision loss being feared twice as much as other common complications of diabetes (including cardiovascular disease and stroke) a quarter of people with diabetes surveyed are not discussing eye complications with their health care professional, with many presenting when vision problems have already occured.1 These are some of the concerning insights into the current management of diabetic retinopathy (DR) and diabetic macular edema (DME) revealed by the DR Barometer Study, launched today via a unique collaboration of experts from the International Federation on Ageing (IFA), International Diabetes Federation (IDF), International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) and Bayer Pharma AG.

The true impact of DR and DME was clearly highlighted throughout the DR Barometer Study, which shows that 79% of people with DR find that their vision loss makes activities such as driving, going to work and completing basic household tasks difficult, and in some cases impossible.1 Furthermore, 20% of people with DR or DME also cite that changes in their vision leave them less able to manage their diabetes, an issue reflected in individuals’ perception of their overall health, with over half of respondents with DR rating their physical health as ‘poor to fair’.1

“Diabetic retinopathy is a leading cause of blindness in the working-age population of most developed countries and the sight loss caused by this condition can have a profound impact on both an individual’s quality of life and their ability to work,” said Peter Ackland, Chief Executive Officer, International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB). “DR and DME can be successfully managed with the right screening and treatment, however many people with diabetes are being placed at unnecessary risk of vision loss due to barriers within the referral system and patient care pathway.”

The DR Barometer Study highlighted major capacity issues affecting access to eye examinations, which form a critical step in the detection and management of DR.1 This issue is clearly illustrated by the fact that both ophthalmologists and adults with diabetes who participated in the study reported ‘long waiting times to schedule an appointment’ as a major barrier to optimising eye health.1 One in three people with diabetes surveyed also confirm that even when they can book an appointment, the cost of the examination itself can be prohibitive, and 24% of patients said that waiting times at the clinic was a further issue.1

As well as exposing inadequacies within health care systems, the DR Barometer Study uncovers a worrying lack of guidelines for health care professionals.1 It reveals that half of all providers surveyed do not have written protocols for the detection and management of diabetes-related vision issues.1

The combined issues around capacity and cost for delivering screening, along with a lack of clarity around guidelines delivers a ‘perfect storm’ for this vulnerable population, both now and in the future; placing people with diabetes at risk of delays in diagnosis and treatment for diabetic eye disease. Close to two-thirds of ophthalmologists surveyed believe that late diagnosis is the greatest barrier to improving outcomes, with over half revealing that people with diabetes present when vision problems have already occurred and in many cases when it is too late for treatment.1

“We are currently experiencing one of the most important demographic upheavals of our time in terms of global population ageing, and the impact of non-communicable diseases such as diabetes is rising at a rapid rate.” said Dr Jane Barratt, Secretary General, International Federation on Ageing. “The DR Barometer Study exposes numerous barriers to timely screening, diagnosis and treatment for many people with diabetes – barriers which must be addressed head-on if we are to more effectively manage the consequences of these diseases as the at-risk group increases. A patient’s age, where they live or how much they earn should not be the defining factors in determining the management and treatment of their diabetes or any associated complications, such as diabetic eye disease.”

Along with their detailed research findings, the IFA, IAPB and IDF have also harnessed the DR Barometer Study to deliver a number of key evidence-based recommendations to address the knowledge gaps and inequalities in services for people with diabetes.

One crucial element of good patient outcomes is regular, affordable and accessible eye examinations for people with diabetes, along with affordable treatment delivered within a co-ordinated system, to ensure those at risk of vision loss are effectively monitored and managed. The experts behind the DR Barometer Study are also calling for significantly increased education – both for people with diabetes and health care professionals – regarding the prevention, detection and treatment of DR and DME. Equally important is the provision of tools for people with diabetes in all countries to be able to effectively manage their diabetes and prevent vision loss from occurring in the first place.

“The theme of this year’s World Diabetes Day is ‘Eyes on Diabetes’, which reflects how critical we believe the role of eye health to be within diabetes management,” said Dr David Cavan, MD, Director of Policy & Programmes, International Diabetes Federation. “The DR Barometer Study offers a number of steps that need to be taken now to prevent further vision loss from diabetes and we urge governments around the world to seriously consider how current approaches to diabetic eye disease can be improved.”

For further information and to download the full results of the DR Barometer, please visit


About Diabetic Eye Disease

Diabetes remains one of the largest global public health concerns. The number of people with diabetes has nearly quadrupled since 1980 to 415 million adults.3,5

DR, the most common form of diabetic eye disease, is a complication of diabetes caused by high blood glucose levels damaging the blood vessels at the back of the eye. DME is a frequent manifestation of DR, which occurs when blood vessels leak fluid into the retina, causing blurred vision. Both DR and DME can lead to blindness if undiagnosed and untreated.

All people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes are at risk of developing DR and DME, which can be prevented via effective risk assessment, early diagnosis and appropriate management of diabetes.

About the DR Barometer

To investigate the global, regional and specific country issues surrounding DR and DME, the International Federation on Ageing (IFA), the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) and the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) conducted a comprehensive, two-phase, multi-country study.

Phase one was a qualitative study comprising interviews in eight countries that represented a cross section of regions and income levels. Phase two was a quantitative study comprising desk research and the generation of new data from of a specifically designed, web-based survey of 4,340 adults with diabetes and 2,329 health care professionals in 41 countries.

The study population of adults with diabetes who participated in the survey was self-selected, predominantly from patient organisations as well as membership organisations of older adults (seniors). Therefore, this population group comprises people who are more likely to be engaged and motivated in the management of their diabetes. Likewise, the health care professionals (providers) are self-selected and the same principle should be applied when interpreting the results.

About the Partners

The International Federation of Ageing (IFA) is an international non-governmental organisation (NGO) with a membership base comprising government, NGOs, industry, academia and individuals in 70 countries. IFA is a voice alongside and on behalf of older adults globally and has General Consultative Status at the United Nations and its agencies including the World Health Organisation. For further information visit:

The International Diabetes Federation (IDF) is an umbrella organisation of over 230 national diabetes associations in 170 countries and territories. It represents the interests of the growing number of people with diabetes and those at risk. The Federation has been leading the global diabetes community since 1950. For further information visit:

The International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) is the coordinating membership organisation leading international efforts in blindness prevention activities. IAPB’s mission is to eliminate the main causes of avoidable blindness and visual impairment by bringing together governments and non-governmental agencies to facilitate the planning, development and implementation of sustainable national eye care programmes. For more information, please visit:

Bayer: Science For A Better Life
This research was made possible with support from Bayer Pharma AG.  Bayer has funded and facilitated this research, acted as an advisor and will assist in the dissemination of the research findings.

Bayer is a global enterprise with core competencies in the Life Science fields of health care and agriculture. Its products and services are designed to benefit people and improve their quality of life. At the same time, the Group aims to create value through innovation, growth and high earning power. Bayer is committed to the principles of sustainable development and to its social and ethical responsibilities as a corporate citizen. For more information, go to


  1. The Diabetic Retinopathy Barometer Study: Global Findings. November 2016. Available at: Last accessed November 2016.
  2. Yau J.W., Rogers, S.L. et al. Global Prevalence and Major Risk Factors of Diabetic Retinopathy.  Diabetes Care 2012; 35(3):556-564.
  3. IDF Diabetes Atlas, Seventh edition, 2015. International Diabetes Federation. Available at: Last accessed October 2016.
  4. Wan He, Daniel Goodkind, and Paul Kowal. An Aging World: 2015S. Census Bureau, International Population Reports, P95/16-1, U.S. Government Publishing Office, Washington, DC, 2016.
  5. WHO Global Report on Diabetes 2016. Available at: Last accessed October 2016.

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