Cataract Operations for the Elderly

Hundreds of elderly Namibians with poor vision descended on Keetmanshoop Hospital with high hopes to have their sight restored during the annual eye campaign that started in Karas Region on Sunday.

A familiarisation tour has been planned for today for the team of eye specialists and regional and local councillors to acquaint themselves with the situation. Beneficiaries of previous eye clinics will present their testimonies about the cataract operations. Principal Medical Officer of the Keetmanshoop Health District, Dr Mehluli Ndlovu, said the campaign aims to reach about 300 people from the Hardap, Karas and Omaheke regions.

Ndlovu explained that the financial burden to supply the 300 elderly with transport, accommodation and food is shared between the three regions. “We are targeting about 300 elderly people during this campaign to restore their sight that has blindness due to cataracts. For this we decided to draw from the three regions. They arrived on Sunday, the public holiday, to be screened and for medical staff to check whether they can be operated on. Because of their age some are not suitable for operations,” he noted. International experts arrived in the region to conduct the operations and will be joined by Namibia’s own eye specialist Dr Helena Ndume.

Last year, the Minister of the Health and Social Services, Dr Richard Kamwi, said since the inception of the Cataract Surgical Control Programme more than 50 surgical campaigns were carried out in various regions restoring sight to more than 15 000 individuals.

At the time Kamwi said the 3 506 cataract surgeries performed last year placed the country well ahead of neighbouring countries such as South Africa, Angola and Zambia.

Source : New Era