10.05.2005 General News

Ophthalmologists remove cataract for 146 people in one week

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Koforidua, May 10, GNA - Two Indian ophthalmologists and four paramedical staff, in collaboration with their Ghanaian counterparts at the Koforidua Regional Hospital, have conducted surgical operations to remove cataracts from the eyes of 146 people within one week under a special programme.

According to one of the eye specialists, Dr Sanjay Kumar Gupta, they used a new surgical method which was "less stressful, easy to heal and faster to perform relative to other surgical methods." He said the Rotary Clubs of Chennai, India and Ghana were sponsoring the programme in collaboration with the Ghana Health Service. Dr Mark Quartey, head of the Ophthalmology Department of the Koforidua Regional Hospital, said the department would soon be adopting the new method that he described as less costly since it involved the use of less material as compared to the use of sutures.

Dr James Addy, an Ophthalmologist who was among the surgeons, said the cataract patients who benefited from the programme paid only 15,000 cedis for their folders and were to buy their own drugs if there was the need for it after the operation.

He described the programme as very timely and necessary since it helped to reduce the backlog of people with cataract problems in the region.

Dr Addy said it costs 400,000 cedis to undergo such an operation at the hospital and many people suffering from the disease could not afford the cost "due to poor priorities."

He said apart from the cost, until recently, the Eastern Region had only one ophthalmologist and people who even had resources and wanted to undergo the operation could not get the chance and so the region had a backlog of cataract cases.

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