Eye surgeons restore sights

SEVENTY successful eye surgeries were performed in Ba this week by a visiting team of specialists from the Hawaiian Eye Foundation.

Their annual pilgrimage to the Ba Vision Centre attracted mostly older population of men and women from as far as Suva, as a subsidised fee allowed patients to undertake cataract surgeries that would usually cost thousands of dollars.

“Since 2011, we have seen almost 4000 patients,” said centre CEO Jacqueline Luck, who oversaw screenings for prospective patients prior to the foundation’s visit.

“The majority of patients operated on in the past four days were from Ba, Lautoka, Rakiraki and Nadi, though we also had some from the capital.”

The foundation team was led by eye surgeon Dr Jeffrey Rutgard and his assistant Darrah Kauhane-Floerke, who worked alongside a team that included locals.

“We liaise with the centre throughout the year and have set up a telemed program to allow information on patients with optical problems to be sent across,” Dr Ruthard said.

“The problems faced by the patients we worked on are all cataract issues, and some reported that they had not had vision for the past eight to 10 years.

“This is a natural process that comes with age and we’ve advised people that they could help themselves through diet and exercise, which we noticed that not many people do.”

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