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Miss World NI finalist from Dromore eyes diabetes research

Dromore woman Sarah-Louise Watson, a Doctoral Researcher from Queen’s University was a Miss World NI finalist this year, and decided to use her ‘beauty with a purpose’ section of the competition to highlight the seriousness of diabetes-related sight loss.

Heather Causer (left) Community Engagement Manager for Diabetes UK Northern Ireland and Sarah-Louise Watson (right) Miss World NI finalist.
Heather Causer (left) Community Engagement Manager for Diabetes UK Northern Ireland and Sarah-Louise Watson (right) Miss World NI finalist.

Sarah-Louise. who was delighted to compete in the finals of the prestigious contest this week, said: “‘As part of my role, I am raising awareness about diabetes as so many families are impacted by this relentless condition and I believe everyone has the right to care when they need it.

“As part of my doctoral research, I am focusing on diabetic retinopathy and how my research can help people manage diabetes.

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“I am currently investigating the feasibility of home monitoring in individuals at high risk of developing diabetic retinopathy using game-based technology, and this technology is driven to make diabetes education and self-management more convenient, engaging, usable and accessible.

“Early intervention is so important when it comes to health but especially when it comes to diabetes, and I hope my research will help.”

There are currently over 104,000 people living with diabetes in Northern Ireland and approximately 90% of those are living with type 2 diabetes. It is a relentless condition and if not managed well, both type 1 and type 2 diabetes can lead to devastating complications, including sight loss.

Heather Causer, Community Engagement Manager at Diabetes UK Northern Ireland added: “We would like to thank Sarah-Louise for highlighting the importance of eye care when living with diabetes. Sarah will have the opportunity to use this platform to raise awareness about type 1 and type 2 diabetes within schools, organisations, conferences, and key fundraising events across the United Kingdom and internationally.”

Sarah-Louise has already raised over £400 to support Diabetes UK. Donations can be made online at www.justgiving.com/fundraising/sarah-watson117