The Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation – Department of Ophthalmology, successfully held its World Glaucoma Week 2016 activities themed ‘Check your eyes for Glaucoma’. Two of the main activities included: One week of free Glaucoma Screening Sessions and launch of a Glaucoma poster.
Free public glaucoma screening sessions
In collaboration with the Ministry of Health and the Guyana Vision 2020 Committee, the hospital screened approximately 280 individuals for glaucoma. This was held daily from Monday, March 7 to Friday, March 11, from 12:00 hrs to 15:00 hrs at the Eye Clinic.
A report from the Government Information Agency (GINA) said staff ophthalmologists, doctors, nurses and optometrists were involved in vision and eye pressure testing and examination of the eye nerve of the patients.
Volunteers from Optique Vision Care and Guyana Eye Care Programme were also involved in the screening exercise. The activity over the past week went smoothly and patients were able to access the free service in a timely manner.
In collaboration with Ansa McAl Group of Companies, the hospital also launched glaucoma poster for the public. The aim of the poster is to aid in public awareness about the disease and to encourage persons at risk to undergo screening. The poster was launched on Monday, March 7, 2016 at the Eye Clinic by the Minister of Public Health, Dr George Norton, along with representatives of Ansa McAl and the hospital. This poster will be placed at various locations across the country.
Ophthalmologists from the hospital also appeared on radio programmes during the week to promote education and awareness about glaucoma. The University of Guyana’s Optometry students were also involved in an education programme on campus while members of the Guyana Association of Optometrist were involved in free screening at their offices.
The hospital received a donation during the week of a computer desktop system from Guyana Eye Care Programme and a printer from Digicom, which will be used in the eye clinic’s registration process. GINA said the hospital wishes to thank everyone who was involved in the commemoration of World Glaucoma week.
In Guyanese patients, Open Angle Glaucoma is the most common form of glaucoma. Patients of Afro-Guyanese origin are more prone to develop open angle glaucoma and are more likely to have family members suffering from glaucoma. It has also been found that glaucoma in Afro- Guyanese patients is usually very severe and more difficult to treat.
There are many ways to treat open angle glaucoma. Over the past years, patients at the hospital have been offering treatment options for patients including: medications (eye-drops); glaucoma surgery and also lasertreatment for Glaucoma (which includes Laser Trabeculoplasty (Open Angle) and Laser Peripheral Iridotomy(Closed Angle). With the addition of laser treatment, open angle glaucoma patients now have a third option for treatment at the institution.
At the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation, the Department of Ophthalmology offers services for diagnosing and treating Glaucoma. GINA said the hospital offers daily eye clinics on weekdays where patients can be given eye examinations for the detection of Glaucoma. Patients need to be referred to the hospital before they can obtain an appointment for any service. These referrals can be obtained from their general physicians.