E-News – December 2021

GUEST EDITORIAL 

By Karen Denton

WORLD DIABETES DAY – 14 NOVEMBER 2021

The theme for World Diabetes Day (WDD) 2021 is “Access to Diabetes Care”. The year 2021 is significant for the diabetes world, as it is the centenary of the discovery of insulin by Banting and Best in a small laboratory in Toronto.

It is notable that a hundred years after this life saving discovery, there are millions around the world who do not receive adequate care.

As many as 20% of people who are diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes for the first time already have eye damage that they are usually unaware of. [Read More Here]


DIS-CHEM RIDE FOR SIGHT IS BACK

The annual Dis-Chem Ride for Sight 2021 was cancelled due to the Covid – 19 restrictions. We are happy to announce that a new date has been set for 20 February 2022.

Our loyal headline partner Dis- Chem Pharmacies will be the naming sponsor once again and we thank them for their phenomenal support over the last 20 years.

The Dis-Chem Ride for Sight has been the major contributor to the Retinal Research Project at the University of Cape Town for many years. Sadly, due to the cancellation of the 2021 event our contribution to UCT was severely affected.

We sincerely hope that the present restrictions remain in place, or improve for 2022 for this will allow the event to be staged.

We are indebted to our volunteer organising committee for their expertise and time that results in an exceptionally well organised and ever popular event. THANK YOU.


CLINICAL TRIAL NEWS

We are in negotiations to bring an USHER Type 2 clinical trial to South Africa. Sadly, we estimate that only 10% of eligible patients are registered with Retina South Africa. This exciting trial will use mRNA technology to edit out a section of the USH2A gene that contains the mutation. Are you a candidate? 
[Read More] 


CLINICAL TRIALS PIPELINE

The Foundation Fighting Blindness. USA, is the world’s leading private funding source for research to treat, prevent, and cure retinal degenerative diseases. Many of the trials listed on their website were made possible by Foundation support. 

See https://www.fightingblindness.org/clinical-trial-pipeline


RESEARCH NEWS

Advances in Optogenetics

Various projects are in development to use Optogenetics to restore visual function. In this novel approach a light sensitive molecule is genetically delivered to the neural cells that will then transmit a message to the brain. [Read More]


FDA Approves Genentech’s Susvimo for Treating Wet AMD.

The US Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has approved SusvimoTM, Genentech’s Port Delivery System (PDS) with ranibizumab, for the treatment of wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD). [Read More]


Prozac may be the first treatment for Dry Age-Related Macular Degeneration

The repurposing of existing drugs that may prove beneficial in retinal disease receives extensive attention. The possible use of Fluoxetine, the antidepressant commonly known as Prozac, is now a promising drug emanating from this approach. What is of interest is how this was identified.[Find Out How]


Atsena Therapeutics Gene therapy for X-Linked Retinoschisis (XLRS)

XLRS is a retinal disease that causes a splitting of retinal layers leading to significant vision loss. XLRS is caused by mutations in the gene RS1, which produces a protein called retinoschsisin that plays a critical role in the maintenance of the retinal structure and cell-to-cell adhesion.[Read More]


NEED GENETIC TESTING

Please contact head office to discuss various pathways to getting a genetic test. To participate in clinical trials and have access to gene specific therapies you do need a genetic diagnosis.


EDUCATION AND AWARENESS

WhatsApp Group

There are 3 age-appropriate WA groups that RSA administers. Youth 16+, Adults with RD and Parents of Young RD youth. If you would like to join WA your full name, mobile number, and WA group to 0833065262.

Retina SA Youth Webinar

The Retina SA Youth Team are very excited to share that we had our very first interactive webinar on the topic of Blind Dating on 4 November.[Read More]


WHAT’S HAPPENING IN THE EASTERN CAPE

Welcome Lwandisa Davids

Welcome to Lwandisa Davids who has joined Retina SA as an Orientation and Mobility practitioner. Lwandisa is stationed at the PE Office.[Read More]


AMD Outreach

The team in Port Elizabeth gave presentations to various retirement facilities and groups in the Eastern Cape in September.[Read More]


JOB OPPORTUNITIES

A new Foundation to support Disabled Job seekers has been launched: Capaxity Foundation and Capaxity Website. 

Capaxity Enabling Work Logo

They aim to work with all disability organizations to ensure quality employment opportunities for persons with disability.

Job seekers can register on the Capaxity Website: https://www.capaxity.co.za

Any queries can be mailed to:  biancadillon@capaxity.co.za


OUR STAR IN TOKYO

Alani Ferreira, one of our Youth team leaders was selected to represent South Africa at the Olympic games in Tokyo. Sadly, she did not win a medal but returned with new SA and African records to add to her vast collection of medals and records. [Read Alani’s article here]


AMENDMENTS TO TAX REGULATIONS FOR PARENTS WITH DISABLED CHILDREN

Income Tax

Income Tax Act, 1962

Amended List of Qualifying Physical Impairment or Disability Expenditure – Effective from 1 March 2020—https://www.sars.gov.za/wp-content/uploads/Ops/Guides/LAPD-IT-G08b-Amended-list-of-physical-impairment-or-disability-expenditure-effective-1-March-2020.pdf

Summary

The List of Qualifying Physical Impairment or Disability Expenditure has been amended to change the wording in Part F, paragraphs 7 & 8, affecting taxpayers whose children living with a disability attend a private special education needs school. 

For more information, see Media Release: Physical Impairment or Disability Expenditure Prescribed by the Commissioner  https://www.sars.gov.za/media-release/physical-impairment-or-disability-expenditure-prescribed-by-the-commissioner/

And Confirmation of Diagnosis of Disability Form (ITR-DD)

https://www.sars.gov.za/wp-content/uploads/Ops/Forms/ITR-DD-Confirmation-of-Diagnosis-of-Disability-External-Form.pdf


The management and staff of Retina South Africa wish you all a safe festive season and a Happy 2022

RETINA SOUTH AFRICA DISCLAIMER
Information disseminated by Retina South Africa is for information purposes only. Readers must discuss any intervention with their Eye Care practitioner. Information in this E-News does not imply that Retina South Africa endorses any particular therapy, intervention or medication. Retina South Africa assumes no responsibility for the use made of any information provided in this newsletter.

Unsubscribe