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Miss World Northern Ireland finalist eyes diabetes research

Sarah-Louise Watson, a doctoral researcher at Queen’s University Belfast, is a Miss World Northern Ireland finalist and is using her ‘beauty with a purpose’ competition to highlight the seriousness of diabetes-related sight loss.

Sarah-Louise Watson, from Dromore, said, ‘I am delighted to be among the Miss World NI finalists and have worked hard to progress to this stage in the competition. 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.

I am currently researching whether people at high risk of developing diabetic retinopathy could monitor their condition at home using game-based technology. This technology could 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 about 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, continued, ‘We would like to thank Sarah-Louise for highlighting the importance of eye care when living with diabetes and we are excited to be working with her during her Miss World NI competition. 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.

‘A huge thank you to Sarah-Louise for her ongoing work and to everyone who continues to support her fundraising efforts for people living with diabetes in Northern Ireland.’

To support Sarah-Louise’s fundraising then you can donate at her JustGiving page.

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