Chinese eye specialists conduct 60-plus free surgeries in Fiji, in a week

Assistant Minister for the Health and Medical Services Alexander O’Connor and the team of Chinese Ophthalmologists. Picture: SUPPLIED

A TOTAL of 69 cataract eye surgeries were conducted for free at the Pacific Eye Institute (PEI)/CWMH Eye Centre last week by a team of a team of Ophthalmologists from China.

A Government statement issued last night stated the team, led by Professor Chen Weirong – also vice-director at the Zhongshan Ophthalmic Centre, had conducted cataract surgery through a sophisticated method called phacoemulsification – a modern cataract surgery in which the eye’s lens is emulsified with an ultrasonic handpiece and aspirated from the eye; and this was yet to be made available in Fiji.

According to the statement, each of those surgeries would normally cost $US1600.

It is understood the recovery time after phacoemulsification surgery is much shorter than the locally-available methods of surgery.

Ms Weirong and her team had been visiting Fiji conducting eye surgeries for free since 2015. The team has also travelled to other Pacific island countries like Samoa offering similar services.

She was grateful for all the support provided to her team and they looked forward to returning to Fiji next year to perform more cataract surgeries.

They have also donated some of the consumables and medicines to PEI to assist with eye care treatments.

Through a formal partnership with Fiji’s Ministry of Health and Medical Services, the Guangdong province has significantly assisted towards the development of Navua Hospital and through deployment of medical specialists.

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