By Solomon Hamala
A team of 10 Kuwaiti doctors have offered free eye treatment to 700 patients during a two day health camp held at Iganga Main Hospital.
The two day health camp that concluded on Sunday 13th was organized by Nile Cultural and Social Development Association in collaboration with Kuwait based Al Kulaib Universal Company attracted patients from the five districts of Bugiri, Iganga, Kaliro, Luuka and Mayuge.
Khalid Hussein, one of the doctors said they decided to hold the camp after realizing that majority of people have eye diseases but lack the funds to seek medical attention.
Hussein said many of the patients received treatment for common eye diseases like glaucoma, cataract, ambyopia, and age related macular degeneration.
Abdala Muwombefu, a patient from Bugiri said he had spent four years looking for Shs2.3 million in order to undergo an operation at Mulago hospital in vain.
“I tried asking for support in mosques, churches but I could not raise the amount of money required for the operation,” he said.
Muwombefu while speaking with joy after undergoing an eye operation at the health camp said he had fully recovered his sight.
“I could not see anything before but now I can fully recognize everything within my midst,” he said.
Sarah Kagoya, 76, said majority of people develop eye diseases during their advanced age as a result of poor feeding habits besides certain ailments like hypertension and diabetes.
Kagoya urged members of the public to always improve on their diets to avoid developing eye problems at an advanced age.
The chairman Nile Cultural and Social Development Association, Sheikh Bruhan Byekwaso said they had earlier targeted to offer treatment to over 1000 people but the number was reduced due to the COVID 19 pandemic.
“You are aware crowds have been banned to avoid spread of COVID 19 infections,” he said.
Byekwaso said similar health camps will soon be conducted to provide free treatment to eye patients within Busoga region.
He hailed the Arab doctors for the generosity in offering free eye treatment to the needy Ugandans.
The district health officer Iganga, Doctor David Muwanguzi said majority of eye patients are reluctant to seek services of health personnel and turn up when the problem has escalated.
“By the time these patients come for treatment, the situation would be worse and more expensive to handle,” he said.
Muwanguzi urged locals to always seek services of eye specialists for checkups to ascertain their status at an early stage.
According to the ministry of health, 1.2 million people in Uganda are visually impaired through short sightedness whereas 250,000 of the population are totally blind.
The national eye health coordinator Ministry of health, Doctor Stanley Bubikye said over 1.4 million Ugandans have eye defects.
Cataracts accounts for the greatest cause of blindness amongst most eye patients in Uganda.
Bubikye said most blindness occurs during advanced age when lenses become opaque and a person can no longer see anything.