Background and aims. In South Africa diabetes makes a significant contribution to the burden of disease. Diabetic retinopathy is a leading cause of adult blindness, and screening can reduce the incidence. This project aimed to implement and evaluate a new service for retinal screening that uses a non-mydriatic mobile fundal camera in primary care. This is the first time such a service has been evaluated in an African primary care context. Methods. The service was implemented as an operational research study at three community health centres and data were collected to evaluate the operational issues, screening, reporting and referral of patients.