There are currently 45 millions people worldwide living with vision-threatening diabetic retinopathy (DR), which is expected o increase by the year 2040. This most common complication of diabetes is the leading cause of blindness among working-age populations in the developed world. The prevalence of vision-threathening DR is higher in Asia and many low-middle income countries are ill-equiped to identify and manage DR, with as few as 10% having been diagnosed and treated.
The diabetic retinopathy prevalence is especially increasing in Laos where it is a major public health issue. However, there is no retina specialist in the country and the equipment available for the diagnosis and treatment of retina patients is minimal.