Eye health drive to help people from Black and Minority Ethnic backgrounds
- Post date:
- Thursday, 3 December 2015
The Welsh Government is calling on people from Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) backgrounds to use a special free service to check the health of their eyes.
It comes as a new report shows 1 in 10 people from a BME background over the age of 65 will experience serious sight loss.
Asian and Black ethnic groups are at greater risk of eye diseases, such as glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy compared to other ethnic groups and are more likely to become blind.
However, evidence also suggests Asian and Black communities in the UK are less likely to attend for primary eye care appointments despite the increased risk of sight loss.
In Wales, the Welsh Government funded ‘This Eye Care Health Examination’ service exists for people from BME backgrounds to have a free, at the point of access, eye health examination. The service is provided by opticians, but is under used by those from BME backgrounds.
A Welsh Government supported research project between Sight Cymru, RNIB Cymru, Public Health Wales and Cardiff University has examined how to best raise awareness amongst communities. The scheme is working to raise awareness amongst BME communities and has already led to an increased uptake of eye health examinations.
The Deputy Minister for Health Vaughan Gething said:
RNIB Cymru Director Ceri Jackson said: