Eye care

Hela eyes a brighter future


Organised by the Hela Provincial Health Authority and its partners at the Wabia Health Centre, the initiative saw two highly regarded eye doctors from LAILA Foundation and Port Moresby’s Pacific International Hospital (PIH) treat cataracts patients in the province for the best part of a week, with help from two eye theatre nurses and an optometrist.

Cataract surgery for Lae

60 patients have registered for free cataract surgery under this campaign.

“After the release of the RAAB 2017 report, we felt we had to aggressively scale-up our efforts at providing basic eyecare to the entire population of Papua New Guinea,” said Dr Amyna Sultan, one of the core member of the not-for-profit Laila Foundation. 

40,000 people unnecessarily blind

Either no access to health facilities or lack of awareness are the reasons behind this sad scenario.

There are two main causes behind this treatable condition: Refractive error and cataract.

With refractive error – many do not know that all that is needed is a simple pair of glasses to see clearly.

While cataract – clouding of the lens in the eye – can be surgically removed at the earliest, and sight fully restored.

Eye care ambassadors

Laila Foundation and the Pacific International Hospital announced their partnership with Hebou PNG Barramundis and the City Pharmacy PNG Lewas today.

Players from the two cricket teams will go through comprehensive eye checks over the next week.

They will be the ambassadors to spread word about avoidable blindness.

Avoidable blindness is blindness that could have easily been avoided.

PNG has alarming statistics in this, with over 40,000 people unnecessarily blind.

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.

Check your eyes, avoid blindness

This was the message emphasised yesterday on World Sight Day (WSD).

WSD is an annual day of awareness held on the second Thursday of October, to focus global attention on blindness and vision impairment.

Recognising this was the Pacific International Hospital in Port Moresby.

The director, Dr Amyna Sultan, who is also a member of PNG’s National Prevention of Blindness committee, highlighted alarming statistics of PNG based on recent surveys in the country.

Back to school: Know the signs it is time to get your child's eyes tested

Andrew Hogan of Optometry Australia sees a lot of children in his practice in Hobart, often when parents or teachers notice one of those symptoms.

"Kids won't complain about blurry vision," he told Helen Shield on ABC Radio Hobart.

"Kids who aren't paying attention [in class], sometimes it's simply because they can't see and they don't realise that everyone else can see, because they've got nothing to compare it to."

The effect of computer screens on your eyes

One cannot escape this because the modern world is full of technology.

According to WikiHow, Americans, on average, spend around 30 percent of their day staring at a screen.

Best advice is to limit your time looking at computer, tablet and phone screens if possible. 

While science hasn't yet proven that looking at computer screens causes permanent eye damage, it may cause eye strain and dry eyes. The glare from computer screens causes muscle fatigue in the eyes, either from being too bright or too dark.