Over 160 Kwale residents benefit from free cataract screening, surgery

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About 170 elderly persons from Kwale County have benefitted from free screening and surgery for cataracts.

Cataract is an eye condition that involves clouding of the lens making it difficult for a person to see clearly.

The screening and surgery were conducted by the Kwale Health Department and the Kuwait Embassy under Safe Surgical Aid (SS Aid).

About 56 elderly men and women who had cataract conditions were successfully operated on.

Mzee Hamisi Joto one of the beneficiaries, has been living with the condition for more than two years.

"I experienced blurry vision but I thought it was due to the old age. I came on Saturday, was screened and scheduled for the surgery," he said.

He is optimistic that once the bandage is removed his clear vision will be restored.

Mzee Hamisi Joto before the eye surgery. (Photo: Mishi Gongo)

Even though the condition can affect children as well, the majority who turned out for the treatment were old people.

Dr Shabbir Abdulrasul an ophthalmologist consultant at Kwale Eye Centre said in the past the condition used to be common among elderly persons above 70 but currently even babies can have cataracts.

The ophthalmologist said more Kwale residents are suffering from cataract disease affecting both children and the elderly.

Dr Shabbir said the disease has become common because of injuries, unhealthy lifestyles, and natural phenomena unlike before when it was associated with old age.

"Cataracts can be treated by surgery and medication. The treatment often involves the removal of the cloudy lens and replacing it with an artificial one," he explained.

The two-day surgical camp that started aimed to assist Kwale residents with cataracts in their eyes which hinders their eyesight visibility.

Some of the doctors who conducted the eye surgical camp in kwale County. (Photo: Mishi Gongo)

The two-day surgical camp was free across all the sub-county hospitals in Kinango, Lungalunga, Samburu, Kwale and Msambweni referral hospitals.

Dr Shabbir said some of the early symptoms include itchiness, cloudy vision, redness, refractive error, and pain among others.

The expert said since the world is embracing digital technology, people should be very cautious.

He said spending too much time on computers, televisions and smartphones could result in eye problems.

He also warned residents against using traditional eye treatment methods adding that they are inefficient and very harmful.

"If you experience any eye issue, rush to the eye centre for medical examinations and get the appropriate treatment," he said.

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