Over 200 people undergo free eye surgery in Kitgum :: Uganda Radionetwork

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Dr. Denis Kamara, an ophthalmologist at St. Joseph’s Hospital, who is also in charge of the eye surgery camp, said the camp is targeting 1,000 patients for eye surgery, but is also receiving more people in need of eye surgery. other medical assistance with regard to their eyesight.

Over 200 patients from across the Acholi sub-region underwent free cataract surgery at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Kitgum Municipality.

The week-long eye camp, which began on October 6, was organized by the Ministry of Health in collaboration with partners such as Sight Savers, Light of the World, Christian Blind Mission, CBM and pharmacies such as Abacuses, among others.

Dr. Denis Kamara, an ophthalmologist at St. Joseph’s Hospital, who is also in charge of the eye surgery camp, said the camp is targeting 1,000 patients for eye surgery, but is also receiving more people in need of eye surgery. other medical assistance with regard to their eyesight.

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Patrick Ongu, senior eye clinician/cataract surgeon at St. Joseph’s Hospital, said the camp was organized in preparation for World Sight Day, which will take place on Thursday, October 13. Ongu revealed that the majority of the patients they have registered have cataracts. He noted that 200 of the 700 patients seen on Monday had had cataract surgery.

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Ongu said cataracts develop when the body’s metabolism changes, causing the lenses of the eyes to become less transparent. He explained that although the main cause of cataracts is old age, the problem is more common than any other eye defect as it is caused by many factors such as unregulated use of medications, accidents, diabetes and diseases that cause dehydration, among others.

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Christine Apoko, 42, a farmer from Omiya Anyima sub-county who was diagnosed with cataracts three years ago, said she did not have surgery due to the expense of the procedure. “I hope the free operation I will get will improve my eyesight and allow me to do my farm work easily,” she said.

Another cataract patient, James Ocakacon, who is due to undergo eye surgery on Wednesday, said he was happy the camp was in Kitgum. Ocakacon, 35, a businessman from Lamwo district, revealed that last month he visited St. Monica’s Health Center in Gulu, which also held a free eye care camp, but his eyes had not been worked because of the high turnover rate. at the top.

“Over the past year I have used three herbs recommended by different people, but my eyesight has not improved. My only hope now is eye surgery,” Ocakacon said. Figures from the 2014 National Population Census show that 4% of Uganda’s population is visually impaired, and cataracts are thought to be responsible for 57% of blindness in Uganda.

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