December 7, 2021

Last week, we supported Dr. Pema Wangchuk, from Wangdicholing Hospital in Bumthang, in funduscopy training at the Gyalyum Kesang Choeden Wangchuck National Eye Hospital in Jigme Dorji Wangchuck National Referral Hospital.

The burden of non-communicable diseases like hypertension and diabetes mellitus is ever-increasing in Bhutan. The number of patients developing microvascular complications like hypertensive or diabetic retinopathies is high and on the rise. Bumthang district hospital faces the same burden as many districts across the country. It is important to improve the quality of care, provide timely screening and detect such complications early for timely referrals and treatment. 

This detection is possible with a simple outpatient procedure called fundoscopy where a clinician visualizes the fundus/retina of the eye with an ophthalmoscope. The visualization can provide lots of information about the patient’s medical diagnosis like if the hypertensive or diabetic patient has developed microvascular complications or has increased pressure in the brain. Based on fundoscopy findings, management of hypertension and diabetes, that is the doses of medication and intensity of lifestyle modification can be adjusted accordingly, and timely referral for those with complications can be made. 

“This training in fundoscopy has taught me that the simple procedure if performed properly, could help diagnose multiple eye diseases as well as other systemic diseases that require treatment to preserve vision. I look forward to using it routinely in my clinical practice.”, said Dr. Pema Wangchuk.