KUCHING: Lions Club of Kuching Metro, in collaboration with 1Malaysia Cataract Mobile Clinic, Ophthalmology Department of Sarawak General Hospital, successfully held a second Cataract and Eye Surgeries Camp in Betong Hospital recently.
Covering two weeks from Feb 10 to 23, the camp was organised some five months after the first camp was held last August.
This time, it involved 83 patients who were scheduled for cataract operation. Eyesight was restored for 72 with cataract, while five others had to be deferred on medical grounds – and six patients who refused due to fear of the operation.
It was in line with the mission of Lions Club of Kuching Metro to spread the message that cataract blindness is reversible, and thus not to wait till it’s too late when complications can set in.
Deteriorating vision due to cataract is identified as the world’s leading cause of blindness which is preventable and treatable, and eyesight restored.
The prevalence of cataracts increases dramatically with age. When the natural lens of a patient’s eye(s) begin clouding, he or she would soon be so badly visually handicapped that they cannot lead an active life.
The Betong camp also consisted of patients who were self-paying or under the pension scheme, with only 31 needy patients on full sponsorship. Patients came from as far Sri Aman right up to Debak, Pusa and Paku whose ages ranged from 40 to 83 years old.
There were another 25 patients who were diagnosed with ‘pterygium excision’ where graft surgery would be carried out.
Dr Intan Gudom, Head of Sarawak General Hospital Ophthalmology Department, together with Ophthalmologist Dr Thomas Law Ngo Hieng, medical officer Dr. Faith Ho Hui Lee and Optometrist Nurul Farhana Abu Bakar, led a team of medical assistants and nurses to carry out the surgery.
The support for the 31 fully-sponsored patients came from Minister of Plantation Industries and Commodities Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas, who had generously sponsored the purchase of the Intra Ocular Lenses.