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24.05.2007 Health

Some 280 cataract cases operated at eye camp in Wa


A free eye screening and treatment camp aimed at preventing blindness in poor communities, organized by a team of 18 eye specialists, surgeons and ophthalmic nurses from Pakistan ended at Wa.

During the six-day exercise, which was sponsored by Al-Basar International Foundation of Saudi-Arabia, about 3,000 people were screened for cataract that has been identified as the major cause of blindness in the world, out of which 280 cataract cases were operated upon.

Another 500 people who were diagnosed as having various eye defects were given free medications and supplied with bi-focal lenses.

All the cataract patients were camped at the Wa Regional Hospital for the surgical operations and given free meals and medicines by the Foundation.

The exercise drew patronage from all parts of the Upper West Region and beyond as there is no single eye specialist in the whole of the region.

In an interview with the Ghana News Agency Dr Khalil Ahmed Lakho, the Coordinator of the Foundation's Blindness Control Programme, said the mission of the Foundation, which was established in Saudi-Arabia in 1990, was to prevent blindness in poor countries.

He said these countries had inadequate trained medical personnel and lacked the equipment and resources to reach out to poor communities.

Dr Lakho said during their current exercise worldwide, about two million people received eye care services while 150,000 had cataract removed from their eyes.

Similar camps have already been held in Accra, Kumasi and Tamale. The team has been to Niger, Benin and Togo.