SUVA, July 11 (Xinhua) -- Diabetes Fiji said on Thursday that 30,000 Fijians would need some eye surgeries in the coming years, according to Fiji Broadcasting Corporation (FBC).
Diabetes Fiji Trustee Professor Eddie Mccaig urged Fijians to have their eyes tested as more young people are losing their eyesight due to diabetes.
"We now have a system in which every diabetic should have their eyes looked at so we look at their retina, we look at their lens so we try and detect them early and they are going out into the community through Pacific Eye Institute and Fred Hollows Foundation but as I said the number is huge," Mccaig said.
Diabetes-related amputations in Fiji account for 40 percent of all hospital operations, according to Mccaig, who is also the Professor of Surgery at Fiji's National University.
He said that half the estimated 60,000 people in Fiji with diabetes did not realize they had the illness because they ignored early signs such as thirst and excessive urination.
Fiji cannot afford the high cost of the amputations, eye surgery and kidney failure caused by diabetes, he said, adding that about 40 percent of the surgery done in Fiji is for amputations alone.