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Improving health management in the Philippines and beyond

image-tools (95)A new assessment tool developed by CERA researchers will help low resourced countries in Africa, the Middle East and Asia-Pacific regions integrate eye care into broader health management systems.

The Tool for Assessment of Diabetes Management Systems (TADS) was developed with Professor Ruth Colagiuri (International Diabetes Federation, University of Sydney), and reviewed by an expert panel at World Health Organization (WHO) in Geneva. It assesses the status of diabetic retinopathy services (if they exist) and how well they are integrated into diabetic management systems.

CERA PhD student Dr Rahul Chakrabarti recently returned from the Philippines, where he used the tool with senior Government health officials.

“In low resourced countries such as the Philippines, people in urban areas may have adequate access to health services but regional areas are very under-resourced,” said Dr Chakrabarti.

“The aim of this assessment tool is to help low resourced countries objectively identify their needs, at a national level.”

The results of the assessment can then be used to inform health policy to improve planning and to support funding applications.

According to Dr Chakrabarti, the response from the Filipino officials was overwhelmingly positive. “They said it was an excellent tool and will be useful in assessing policy and services regarding other health conditions too, not just diabetes.”

Based on the success of this pilot, the assessment tool will be used in seven other low-resource countries across four WHO regions.

CERA is designated as a World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Centre for the Prevention of Blindness, the only such centre in Australia. This project was supported by the Lions Clubs International Foundation SightFirst program.