Hundreds in East New Britain undergo eye operations

The National,Tuesday July 5th, 2016

ABOUT 200 people in East New Britain underwent eye operations in the past two weeks.
Coordinator of eye department at the Port Moresby General Hospital Dr Apisai Kerek operated on the backlog of patients at the Nonga General Hospital in Rabaul.
He said the common condition identified with patients was cataracts – a problem associated with aging.  It is preventable blindness involving the lens of the eyes.
“The most common condition was the smoking of the lens, sort of like the greying of the hair and affects people over 60 years of age,” he said.
He said the operation involved replacing the old lenses with artificial lenses.
“Usually the outcome is very good, the artificial lens we put in the eye will remain for 40 to 60 years.”
Kerek said each operation took about 15 minutes and did not require taking patients to the theatre.
“The outcome after the operation is that the patient is actually able to start seeing and maybe even be able to count how many fingers you hold up before them.”
“Nowadays there are medical conditions that can contribute to lenses going cloudy quickly and the main concern in ENB is diabetes.”
Patients came from Gazelle, Kokopo, Rabaul, Pomio and few were from Kavieng (New Ireland) and Kimbe (West New Britain).
In cautioning people to take care of their eyes, he said people in East New Britain were hard working and when going about their daily duties they must wear hats in the sun.
He also encouraged the used of sunglasses to reduce ultraviolet light, protect against infection and injury and volcanic dust that contained a high concentration of calcium.
“When purchasing sunglasses, always check to see if they contain a sticker indicting that they are 99 per cent UV absorbent.”