Cataract: A major threat- Dr Ravshankar

Wednesday, August 6, 2008
Dr Ravshankar, an eye surgeon from India, has said that cataract still remains a major threat in The Gambia. He made this remark during his weeklong surgical operation in the country, during which he discovered that a lot of children are suffering from this disease.

According to him, during the course of the weeklong eye treatment, he treated over 30 patients adding that he attends several cases per day.

In an interview with the Daily Observer, yesterday, at the Sheikh Zayed Regional Eye Care Centre (SZRECC) in Kanifing on the final day of his weeklong voluntary eye treatement, Dr Ravshankar said during his weeklong operation in the country, he also discovered other eye diseases such as glaucoma at birth, squinting of the eye, blocking of the tear shack, and the dropping of the lids in large numbers, among others.

 “I have about 20 years of experience in eye surgery and specialise mainly on retina and vitreous eye defects. During the course of my treatment here, I also discovered birth abnormalities among others. All the children with these eye problems are 2 months old and their operations were covered by general anesthesia,” he said.

He further revealed that he intends to serve other nations outside his native India and commended the people of the country for their hospitality.

“SZRECC is an excellent centre for eye treatment and I urge people to make good use of the facilities. The weeklong  treatment is absolutely free of charge,” he remarked.

Dr Ravshankar therefore called on parents to consult their family doctors when they suspect these problems in their children or even refer them to the eye care centre for diagnosis and proper management as it would go a long way in securing good eye sights.
He revealed that his trip was supported by Combat Blindness Foundation in the USA  in collaboration with the Rotary Club of Mysore, West India.

For his part, Sarjo Kanji, administrator  of the eye care centre (SZRECC), who is also a cataract surgeon, recalled that since the official opening of the centre in 2007, it has registered remarkable success especially in the treatment of eye-related problems.

According to him, the goal of establishing the centre was to improve the eye health of the population in-line with the Health For Peace Initiative (HFPI) in the sub-region.

“Through this, we attend to people with complex and complicated eye diseases that could have been referred for overseas treatment. One effort of such initiatives is the centre which has its support from the United Arab Emirates (UAE),” he remarked.

According to Mr Kanyi, during the past months, they received doctors and consultants from India, France, West African Health Organisation (WAHO), adding that for the past few months the centre admitted over 200 patients with eye problems.

“Our out-patients’ records show over 3,597 patients for the past months. However, about 30% of our patients are from neighbouring countries, notably Senegal. Our centre is a centre of excellence and as the main referral eye care centre, we will continue to render the good services for the development of our nation,” he said. He called on people to desist from using harmful traditional medicine which can lead to blindness.

Author: by Sheriff Janko