Dr Amyna Sultan

Eye trauma leads to cataract: Dr Sultan

Dr Sultan is the director at the Pacific International Hospital, where they are spearheading a program to eliminate avoidable blindness in the country.

Currently as it stands, PNG has the highest rates in the region – 5.6 percent adults over age 50 are blind.

The recent Rapid Assessment of Avoidable Blindness (RAAB 2017) in PNG identifies cataract and refractive error as the leading causes.

Cataract linked to diabetes

For diabetics, the risk is higher as diabetes develops cataract faster.

People with diabetes can have an eye disease called diabetic retinopathy – an increasing cause of blindness worldwide.

This is when high blood sugar levels cause damage to blood vessels in the tissue at the back of the eye (retina). 

According to Dr Amyna Sultan, director Pacific International Hospital, the prevalence of diabetes/ high sugar is increasing in PNG.

She is also an ophthalmologist (eye specialist) and stresses that a baseline eye examination is important for diabetics.

Free eye surgery for first 100!

This is to mark the launch of the outreach program to be rolled out in Papua New Guinea.

In hopes to reduce statistics of avoidable blindness in PNG, PIH has partnered with Laila Foundation to offer this service for free.

The team, through Laila Foundation, will be bringing in teams who provide high volume cataract surgery.

This project will be led by PIH ophthalmologist, Dr Amyna Sultan, and Dr Vivek Jairaj, consultant ophthalmologist.

According to Dr Sultan, the rural cataract outreach program should commence before the year ends.

Eye specialists needed in PNG

Ophthalmology is the branch of medicine that deals with the anatomy, physiology and diseases of the eyeball and orbit.

The country has only 8 national ophthalmologists or eye specialists.

Given the total population of almost 8 million people, this means one ophthalmologist to a million people.

“And this is very alarming,” says ophthalmologist Dr Amyna Sultan, director of Pacific International Hospital.

She also offers lectures and assists in training ophthalmology residents at UPNG’s school of medicine.

New vision for Hela hospital staff

The Hela Provincial Health Authority (HPHA) has partnered with the Oil Search Foundation (OSF) and a specialist eye team from Pacific International Hospital (PIH), based in Port Moresby, to conduct vision and cataract screening for HPHA healthcare staff.