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Vision 2020 Australia welcomes $9.46 million to be invested into glaucoma blindness research

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Vision 2020 Australia welcomes today’s announcement that the Australian Government will be investing $9.46 million into genetics research aimed at preventing glaucoma blindness.

National Executive Officer of Glaucoma Australia Geoff Pollard said, “The TARRGET Pilot Study, recently concluded by Prof. Jamie Craig and colleagues, in partnership with Glaucoma Australia and the South Australian State Government has demonstrated once again that family history is a powerful contributor to glaucoma risk, as over 50 per cent of the direct relatives of people with advanced glaucoma in that study either had glaucoma themselves or are glaucoma suspects.

“Glaucoma Australia believes this new funding, announced by the Minister today, will lead to a better understanding of the genetics of glaucoma, leading to more people being diagnosed earlier and with less vision loss, resulting in a better outcome for the patient, their family and the community.”

CEO of Vision 2020 Australia Carla Northam agreed, stating, “It is great news that the Australian Government is investing funds to tackle glaucoma, the leading cause of irreversible blindness.

“Investing in this vital area of research will bring us closer to finding a cure which would counter the economic and social cost of avoidable blindness.

“Measures to improve or restore sight are among the most cost effective of all healthcare interventions, returning $4 for every $1 invested.”

The top five causes of preventable blindness are glaucoma, cataracts, diabetes, age-related macular degeneration and uncorrected refractive error.

“We know that around 90 per cent of all blindness and vision impairment in Australia is avoidable or treatable.

“It makes good sense for the Government to invest in eye health and vision care research and clinical trials to ensure no Australian suffers blindness or vision loss if it can be prevented,” Ms Northam said.

ENDS

For more information: Angela Yin at Vision 2020 Australia 03 9656 2020, 0421 214 710 or ayin@vision2020australia.org.au

NOTES

Read more about the TARRGET Pilot study, in partnership with Glaucoma Australia.

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