WATCH: 1 News' Barbara Dreaver in Samoa with The Fred Hollows Foundation NZ

'Epidemic' as diabetes rates soar in the Pacific

1 News' Barabara Dreaver joined us in Samoa this October to report on the prevalence of diabetes in the Pacific and the affect this is having on eye health.

"It's not even 9am at the Leulumoega clinic and the seats are already filled.

Patients have come from neighbouring villages for non-communicable disease checkups – in Samoa that means diabetes.

Ophthalmic nurse Aisasiga Taase Mafaufau, who has a tiny room that acts as an eye clinic near the waiting area, knows this means a busy day — every patient with diabetes is sent on to him for an eye checkup.

'The thing we are trying here is to identify them in an early stage because a surgeon can save them from getting blind... for diabetic retinopathy if it's presenting in a very late stage we can't do much about that,' he says." (1 News, 18 October 2017).

Read more and watch the report on 1 News here.

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