Two hundred persons benefitted from free eye tests and sensitisation sessions hosted by the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC) at the eye clinic yesterday, in observance of World Sight Day.
This was disclosed by Dr. Arlene Bobb-Semple, Ophthalmologist with a sub-speciality training in vitro retinal surgery, attached to GPHC, according to the Department of Public Information (DPI).
The ophthalmologist said that this year’s theme, “Access to Eyecare for Everyone”, has provided the organization with an opportunity to encourage all, be it children or adults, to receive check-ups.
“We are not particularly focusing on patients with cataract or glaucoma. We are trying to access everyone who may have an eye problem or even those who just like to have their eyes routinely checked. We have seen patients who are diabetic, cataract, glaucoma… Patients who are not members of our clinic, but decide to have their eyes checked,” Dr. Bobb-Semple noted.
The Diabetic Eye Centre, supported by the World Diabetes Foundation via a partnership with the Ministry of Public Health, Orbis International and the University of Toronto Banting and Best Diabetes Centre, will also allow persons with diabetes to undergo free screening to detect early diabetic eye disease before it leads to permanent blindness.
She said patients diagnosed with cataract and glaucoma among other conditions have received advice, through counselling, on the way forward. Others have received medication in the form of, eye drops while yet others have been sent for further screening. This, she said, is dependent on the stage of the patient’s condition.
Dr. Bobb-Semple urged patients to pay keen attention to their health. “I recommend that patients take more interest in their body health also their ophthalmic health. So, I recommend patients have annual ophthalmic checks regardless of whether or not they have a visual symptom. They should have their eyes checked, be it at a healthcare centre or at the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC),” the ophthalmologist said.
She also urged patients with diabetes, cataract and other conditions to maintain a diet regimen to improve their quality of life.
World Sight Day is an annual day of awareness held on the second Thursday of October, to focus global attention on blindness and vision impairment.