Timeline of key events in the project


2012The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust launched
2013Situational Analysis initiated across 11 states
  • National Diabetic Retinopathy Summit held and strategies agreed upon by different stakeholders

  • National Diabetic Retinopathy Task Force is formed by the Ministry of Health

  • Districts for Diabetic Retinopathy programme agreed upon after situational analysis in 11 states

  • Technical Expert Group (TEG) meetings for all groups initiated

  • Discussion with state governments for signing of Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for project implementation begins

  • First state to come on board for Diabetic Retinopathy project implementation is Karnataka

  • Other states become part of the Diabetic Retinopathy project: Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Goa, Kerala, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, West Bengal and Tamil Nadu

  • Training to build capacity of ophthalmologists/ophthalmic assistants in screening and management of DR begins in 10 states

  • Certificate course in evidence-based management of Diabetic Retinopathy (CCDR) starts

  • Training for Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHAs), Auxiliary Nurse Midwives (ANMs) and other health-workers on orientation of DR screening starts

  • Procurement of equipment for public health system strengthening starts

  • Screening activities under the project initiated across few states
  • TEG meetings conclude; 25 meetings were conducted since 2015

  • Capacity building in screening and management of Diabetic Retinopathy begins in Gujarat, the 11th project state

  • Cycle Two of CCDR course held

  • Screening services across all centres initiated successfully

  • Information Education and Communication (IEC) material for different stakeholders on Diabetic Retinopathy is developed by PHFI and shared with all partners

  • Mid-term review of the Diabetic Retinopathy project is conducted by Amaltas. Recommendations suggested are incorporated into the future project cycle

  • Operational research projects initiated
  • Cycle Three of CCDR held

  • Diabetes helpline 1800 121 2019 is launched successfully by VVS Laxman

  • Peer Support Group for diabetes initiated in Maharashtra and Gujarat

  • All equipment procurement completed. These include Fundus Cameras, Indirect Ophthalmoscopes, Fundus Fluorescein Angiography (FFAs), B Scan, Foot Scanner, Slit Lamps, LASER and Ocular Coherence Tomography

  • 6069 ASHA/ANM workers oriented in DR

  • 40 Ophthalmologists trained in DR management

  • 164 Ophthalmic Assistants trained in DR screening
  • Cycle Four of CCDR course held

  • 11 Peer Support Groups are formed in Karnataka

  • Helpline receives 311 calls by early 2019

  • 578 (445 completed + 133 undergoing) physicians trained under CCDR course

  • 60,970 patients (75%) screened and 4072 (6.6%) received treatment

  • PHFI conducts 22 monitoring to all the project’s states by the first quarter of 2019

  • 18 district meetings and 15 state meetings for monitoring of the project conducted

  • Seven operational research projects completed, compiled and published

  • 60 NCD Clinics and 10 DHs strengthened under the Diabetic Retinopathy project

  • Request for scale up of services is requested by eight states for 76 centres across 18 districts

Launch of the Diabetic Retinopathy project in 2014. Hyderabad, India

Key Project Numbers



40 Ophthalmologists across the 10 states trained in retina surgery


164 Optometrists/ophthalmic assistants trained in screening for Diabetic Retinopathy

Accredited Social Health Activists

6069 Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHA) & Auxiliary Nurse Midwives (ANMs) trained to motivate people with diabetes to go for screening at Diabetic Retinopathy Community Health Centres


A total of 445 Physicians receive training under Certificate Course in Diabetic Retinopathy (CCDR) until 2018 and 133 are undergoing training in 2019 across eight states


60,970 patients screened for Diabetic Retinopathy (out of potentially 81,250, i.e. 75%) while 4072 have received treatment (6.6%)

Annual Screening

6475 patients have come back for an annual second screening under the project

NCD Clinics

60 Non-Communicable Disease (NCD) clinics and 10 district hospitals have been strengthened under the project

Equipment handover to 11 states includes:

Fundus Cameras
Foot Scanner
Slit Lamps
B Scan

AV Materials

  • DR2h1-DR-Policy-Brief_Final
    Policy Brief
    Diabetic Retinopathy - A Growing Threat to Sight in India
  • DR2h3-The-Emerging-Epidemic-of-Diabetic-Retinopathy-in-India_April-2015-1
    Situation Analysis
    The Emerging Epidemic of Diabetic Retinopathy in India

Press Notes

Hyderabad, April 11, 2014

Public Health Foundation of India and The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust announce partnership in India to combat visual loss and blindness due to diabetes

Partnership between the Indian Institute of Public Health, Hyderabad (IIPH-H) and the International Centre for Eye Health, London School of Tropical Medicine

National Diabetic Retinopathy Summit, to be organised from 12-14 April 2014 in Hyderabad

Download the full Press Release

Hyderabad, October 11, 2018

Free Eye Camp for Underprivileged Children to Mark World Sight Day

An eye screening camp and diabetes awareness activities were conducted by the IIPH Hyderabad-PHFI for underprivileged children from VVS Laxman Foundation

The Indian Institute of Public Health (IIPH) Hyderabad-Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI), in association with Pushpagiri Vitreo Retina Institute (PVRI), successfully provided an eye screening for underprivileged children.

Download the full Press Release

Hyderabad, June 11, 2019

National Pilot Initiatives on Diabetic Retinopathy and Retinopathy of Prematurity Develops Health System Models to Prevent, Screen and Treat Sight of Millions of Indians

The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India, the Public Health Foundation of India and Partners successfully complete a five-year national project to prevent people with diabetes and babies born prematurely from losing their sight.

Download the full Press Release

  • DR-essgrid-Patients

    People with Diabetes

    Everything you need to know about Diabetic Retinopathy
  • DR-essgrid-Policy

    Policy Makers

    The facts about the growing threat to sight in India
  • DR-essgrid-Professionals


    Technical Guidance, Training Materials, Useful Downloads, Case Studies and more
  • DR-essgrid-Media

    Media Corner

    The Numbers - Facts, Stats, Press Notes, AV Materials and Coverage
  • DR-essgrid-Trust

    Trust Programmes

    Why we're working with the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust to help prevent avoidable blindness
  • DR-essgrid-Partners

    Programme Partners

    Our nationwide partners, without whom our work would not be possible