Dubai: At least 8,500 workers will undergo an eye screening test next month in Dubai Industrial City. The screening will be held by a UK-based eye hospital, Gulf News has learnt.

The process is meant to prevent glaucoma, cataracts and corneal diseases that are commonly found among people with diabetes, and may lead to a high rate of blindness.

Dr Chris Canning, Chief Executive and Medical Director of the UK's Moorfields Eye Hospital, said the survey is an initiative to prevent risk factors related to diabetes.

"Workers constitute an important and major proportion of the population. We will start with a pilot study then examine them all. This is a very important initiative to help us understand what results can come up with a random survey," said Dr Canning.

According to findings published by the Imperial College London Diabetes Centre (ICLDC) after 15 years of diabetes, approximately two per cent of people become blind, and about 10 per cent develop severe visual impairment. The pilot study is due to begin next month.

"If one out of 20 workers has the condition, we will intervene and help. We want to encourage screening processes among various sectors in the UAE population," said Dr Canning.