After five days of eyes screening for glaucoma, ophthalmologists at the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC) were able to attend to approximately 280 individuals.
The screening activity was conducted between March 7 and March 11, last, and represented part of the observance of World Glaucoma Week 2016 which was understandably held under the straightforward theme “Check your eyes for glaucoma.”
Screening was held in collaboration with the Ministry of Public Health and the Guyana Vision 2020 Committee. Staff ophthalmologists, doctors, nurses and optometrists were involved in vision testing, eye pressure testing and examination of the eye nerve of the patients.
The activity over the past week went smoothly and patients were able to access the free service in a timely manner. It was moreover deemed a success.
In addition to screening, another major feature of the week was the launch of a glaucoma poster last week Monday at the Eye Clinic. This event was attended by Public Health Minister, Dr George Norton. This was done with the support of Ansa McAl Group of Companies.
The aim of the poster is to aid in public awareness about the disease and to encourage persons at risk to undergo screening. The poster will be placed at various locations across the country. During the past week, too, ophthalmologists from the hospital also appeared on radio programmes to promote education and awareness about glaucoma.
Additionally, volunteers from Optique Vision Care and Guyana Eye Care Programme were involved in screening exercises while Optometry students of the University of Guyana spearheaded an education programme on campus.
Members of the Guyana Association of Optometrist were also involved in free screening at their offices. The hospital also received a donation, during the week, of a computer desktop system from Guyana Eye Care Programme and a printer from Digicom. These will be used in the eye clinic registration process.
A statement issued yesterday said, “The hospital wishes to thank everyone who was involved in the commemoration of World Glaucoma week.”
Among Guyanese patients, Open Angle Glaucoma is the most common form of glaucoma. Patients of Afro-Guyanese origin are more prone to develop open angle glaucoma and are more likely to have family members suffering from glaucoma. It has also been found that glaucoma in Afro-Guyanese patients is usually very severe and more difficult to treat. But there are many ways to treat open angle glaucoma.
Over the past years, patients at the hospital have been offered treatment options including medications (eye-drops), glaucoma surgery and also laser treatment for Glaucoma (which includes Laser Trabeculoplasty (Open Angle) and Laser Peripheral Iridotomy (Closed Angle). With the addition of laser treatment, open angle glaucoma patients now have a third option for treatment at the institution.
At the GPHC Department of Ophthalmology services for diagnosing and treating Glaucoma is offered. The hospital offers daily eye clinics on weekdays where patients can be given eye examinations for the detection of Glaucoma. Patients need to be referred to the hospital before they can obtain an appointment for any service. These referrals can be obtained from their general physicians.
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