Papua New Guinea
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Cataract Outreach Treats Over 500 Patients

A team of specialist ophthalmologists in the country recently conducted a two-week cataract outreach clinic in Maprik District, East Sepik Province, where a record 500 patients underwent eye surgery.

Senior ophthalmologists David Pahau of the Fred Hollows Foundation said the team screened over a thousand patients.

The ophthalmologists performed 30-40 operations daily and at times worked late into the night.

“Our expected target was 300 successful operations by the end of the outreach. But we have exceeded that target and by the end of the third week of the outreach, we would have treated over 500 patients,” Dr. Pahau said.

The outreach came about as a result of cataract screenings which has been ongoing for the last two years in the province.

“Many people with cataract do not get the treatment they need because the service is not available to them.

“That is why the outreach was initiated for the team to travel to rural areas and provide the services to the people,” he added.

The clinic was conducted at Brigiti Community Health Centre in Maprik. Patients came from Maprik, Yangoru-Saussia, Wosera-Gawi, Drekikir, Angoram, Wewak, and Lumi and Nuku in West Sepik. 

The cataract outreach team is made up of four ophthalmologists; Dr. David Pahau, Dr. Kerek Apisai, Dr. Magdalene Mangot and Dr. Waimbe Wahamu, with support staff from Callan Services Inclusive Eye Health, Callan Services Maprik, Fred Hollows Foundation, Boram Eye Clinic, Port Moresby General Hospital Eye Unit and the Goroka Eye Unit.

The team of doctors intend to do one eye clinic outreach in Eastern Highlands Province in the near future.