577 people have cataract surgeries

MANDEVILLE, Manchester – MORE than 500 ophthalmology patients in the southern region recently benefited from cataract surgeries during a three-day medical mission here.

The annual initiative, organised by the Florida-based Mind, Body and Soul ministry (MBS) for the seventh year, has been hailed for improving the vision of the 577 ophthalmology patients in its latest mission from June 17-19 at Mandeville Regional Hospital.

Consultant ophthalmologist at the Mandeville Regional Hospital Dr Gavin Henry on Tuesday reiterated the significance of the annual event that hospital officials said has continuously reduced the waiting list at the facility’s Ophthalmology Department.

Dr Henry, who heads the department, said the cataract surgeries were done in record time.

“This has culminated into a very successful mission.” He said the figure of 204 surgeries on the first day was described as impossible when he shared that with some of my ophthalmology colleagues. “I said, yes, these guys are doing stuff within 10 minutes,” said Dr Henry.

Even as 577 people benefited from cataract surgeries, other patients had their appointments cancelled due to hypertension concerns.

“[Some] came in with massive pressures and we had to make a judgement call to see how we could get them in shape; it was not easy. We would have gotten 600 [cataract surgeries done], but we had to cancel probably 25 to 30 people because of that,” said Dr Henry.

“There were [others] who should have been cancelled, but we worked on them,” he added.

President of the MBS ministry Dr Hillary Morgan said the mission will continue annually.

“The smiles on the faces and the gratitude bring us here every year… I want to thank our doctors that come every year to be here. They have to travel for up to three days just to get here,” she said.

Dr Nitin Shah, leader of the mission, said the number of surgeries this year is remarkable.

“That was the most important part of the mission that we have been doing for the past seven years. For the past four years we have added screening eyes for prescription glasses, so we screened over 2,000 people for the three days and we gave out over 1,000 glasses,” he said.

“We have another 200 plus prescription that the MBS ministry is going to try and arrange to give. We also screened 574 patients for anaemia,” he added.

A pulse oximeter was also donated to the hospital to measure haemoglobin levels.

Chairman of the Southern Regional Health Authority Wayne Chen expressed gratitude to the organisers and doctors in the medical mission.

“The cries come to us daily. We hear the cries, so when we come to an occasion like this, where we have seen the work that you have done where over 500 of our citizens will have vision. I feel and I know the positive impact on the lives of the individuals, their households, as they are providers. The lives impacted are much more than the 500 [ophthalmology patients],” he said.