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Indigenous Eye Health Unit releases diabetes eye care resources

Diabetes along with cataract, refractive error and trachoma accounts for 94% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people vision loss and represents up to 11% of the health gap. Despite national guidelines recommending that all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with diabetes have a YEARLY eye check, only 20% have done so. Of those requiring treatment for diabetic retinopathy only 37% have received it.

The 'Check Today, See Tomorrow' resources have been developed by Indigenous Eye Health (IEH) to support the broader program of recommendations and activities within the Roadmap to Close the Gap for Vision to improve eye health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

The 'Check Today, See Tomorrow' resources aim to help reduce the incidence of preventable blindness in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people by:

  • increasing awareness on the seriousness of diabetes related eye complications, particularly diabetic retinopathy
  • promoting the importance of a YEARLY eye check, and;

  • seeking and following treatment to prevent loss of vision

Health professionals working in primary care in particular are well placed to deliver key eye messages to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with diabetes and their carers and these resources have been developed to assist them.

Developing the 'Check Today, See Tomorrow' Resources

An iterative, engaging, community-driven process was taken to develop eye health promotion messages and resources focusing on diabetes eye care. Community consultations were undertaken in selected regions, partly because of their progress in implementing the Roadmap to Close the Gap for Vision where eye care service improvements are being implemented.

The three communities involved in the development of 'Check Today, See Tomorrow' resources reflect the cultural and regional diversity of Indigenous Australia. The communities include urban, remote and rural settings, and are in three states:

The 'Check Today, See Tomorrow' resources were created 'by community for community' using music, art and sharing personal stories as the backbone for community engagement and participation. This community engagement was integral to understanding the motivation, ability and triggers for behavioural change from community members directly affected by diabetes and/or affected by vision loss from diabetes.

Community engagement also allowed for key themes, slogans, language, design and imagery to be created for the overall 'look and feel' of a suite of social marketing resources. The 'Check Today, See Tomorrow' resources include a resource kit and series of multimedia resources. The implementation of these resources will be supported by IEH in regions that are currently being engaged under the guidance of the Roadmap to Close the Gap for Vision.

'Check Today, See Tomorrow' Resource Kit

The 'Check Today, See Tomorrow' resource kit provides a starting point for health services and communities to integrate key eye messages into chronic care plans, programs and exiting social media platforms. The kit can be used as a tool to support health workers, nurses, doctors, diabetes educators and other primary care providers to deliver eye health messages to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with diabetes and their carers.

The Check Today, See Tomorrow' resource kit is available to download or order.

Each kit contains:

  • 50 x Diabetes Eye Care Brochures
  • 1 x Diabetes Eye Care Flipchart
  • 2 x Campaign Posters
  • 2 x Key messages/Adult Eye Check Card
  • 2 x Diabetic Retinopathy Screening Card
  • 1 x Diabetic Retinopathy Grading Course Flyer
  • 1 x Social Media Guide

Supporting Multimedia Resources

Supporting the 'Check Today, See Tomorrow' resource kit is a series of diabetes eye care:

  • music videos
  • digital stories
  • behind the scenes footage of the development of the resources
  • mp3 audio files

These are available to view and/or download from our multimedia resources page.

For further suggestions and recommendations on how to use social media to implement the 'Check Today, See Tomorrow' resources in your health service and community please refer to the 'How-to-Guide', or alternatively, please contact IEH for support.

We also encourage further adaptations and tailoring of the resources to help acknowledge and respond to community needs (please refer to the 'Check Today, See Tomorrow' Style Guidelines on our website for more information).

If you have any questions regarding the kit, or you require further information or support, please contact us via email or phone (03) 8344 9320 (03) 8344 9320.

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