1 June 2017

Seychelles: Over 100 Patients Restore Fading Eyesight in Seychelles Eye Camp

Elderly Seychellois citizens have this week walked out of the Seychelles Hospital with better vision following a four-day cataract-removal eye camp.

Targeting at least 100 patients, the camp was organised by the Melvin Jones Lions Club in collaboration with the local health ministry and was part of the activities to celebrate 100 years of service of the Lions Club International.

According to the Ministry of Health, around 250 new cataract cases are diagnosed every year in Seychelles, an archipelago in the western Indian Ocean. There are currently 175 patients awaiting cataract surgery. Ashok Shah, the senior eye specialist attributes the increase to the ageing population as it is a disease of old age.

"We have operated on around 125 patients, and the procedure starts weeks before the operation meaning that more time goes into the preparation," said Roland Barbe, the consultant in charge of the Seychelles' Eye Clinic.

Barbe explains that before the surgery, the patients are consulted and given details about the operations. Measurement of the eye is taken to get the proper lens fit, and a consent form is signed.

The operation takes between 5 to 10 minutes - a procedure which Shah says is "a technique that is accepted all over the world."

"The results we are getting are excellent, and therefore I think that we should continue to support this activity in the coming years," said Shah.

The three doctors, who carried out the small-incision-cataract surgeries sponsored by Lions International and Lions Club Seychelles, said the surgeries were successful.

Jyotee Trivedi -- the third specialist who has been coming to Seychelles for 12 years said that "It is a really good collaboration between Seychelles' health ministry and the Lions Club. I also liked the project "sight for kids" which the Lions have done to provide glasses to the young child."

To facilitate cataract surgeries at the Eye Clinic located at Yellow Roof building of the Seychelles Hospital, the Seychelles Port Authority donated an Optical Biometer to the Ministry of Health.

The new machine will allow the ophthalmology unit to provide quicker and better quality service to patients.

Costing almost $40,000, the Optical Biometer will be used to perform ocular biometry that measures the length of the eye, curve and width of the cornea, and anterior chamber depth.

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