BCT’s Report on Cataract Surgeries:
It is alarming that 282 million people worldwide have abnormal vision and 14% of them are completely blind. Also of concern is the fact that 90% of visually impaired people live in low-income settings.
BCT is on a mission to improve the eye sight of such needy communities and prevent blindness among them. We do so by sponsoring eye camps, to examine them, conduct tests, and treat their eye diseases thereby preventing progression to blindness as well as provide them with spectacles to improve their vision. We also provide surgeries to restore vision among cataract blind people.
The latest eye camp was held in Lamu Island on invitation by Riyadha Health Group during the annual cultural festival. Lamu also known as “The Island of festivals” is a UNESCO world heritage site that attracts tourists from all over the world. It however also faces a range of medical challenges including prevalent eye diseases.
The team ran the eye department comprising two separate clinics. An outpatient clinic was run at the Riyadha primary school during which 588 needy patients were treated for various eye diseases while a surgical clinic was run at the King Fahad Hospital.
Held at Riyadha primary school the following services where offered by the team free of charge:
- Eye drops dispensed to treat various eye diseases – 521
- Spectacles given out to improve vision – 285
- Cataract blindness diagnosed – 60
The team held a surgical camp at the King Fahad Hospital to provide the much needed ophthalmic surgical services. The team conducted the following surgeries free of charge:
- Cataract surgeries to restore vision – 25
- Chalazion surgery to prevent damage to the eye cornea – 2
On follow up, all cataract surgeries were successful with vision restored in the patients. No complications have been reported, and all the beneficiaries have expressed heartfelt gratitude. Most of them were elderly, who had lived in a state of blindness for many years, but could not access treatment as it was not available locally and they could not afford to travel for it.
Of note is Elvis Charo, a 9 year old boy who grew up with his right eye blind. This had interfered with normal learning as well as social interaction with other children not only due to poor vision but also due to stigmatisation as he was known as the boy with “one eye”.
For more information on all the great work BCT does and do, here’s a link to their website.