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750 less privileged have eye sight restored

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A TEAM of Pakistani doctors performed 750 cataract operations for the less privileged in Bulawayo.

CHIEF REPORTER

The Islamic Medical Association of Zimbabwe (Imaz) secretary-general Ayman Ameir told Southern Eye yesterday that the operations were conducted under the banner of “Save the Vision” with five eye surgeons leading the project.

“We had been planning for this operation for a long period. We conducted eye clinic camps last week and 750 operations were done between Monday and Saturday at Richards Morris Hospital,” he said.

“It’s mainly for the less privileged people and after the camp, there was no backlog at the unit (Richard Morris).

“We fall under the Islamic Medical Association of Zimbabwe and in liaison with the Federation of the Islamic Association under a project called Save the Vision, four eye surgeons came through.”

Ameir said due to the huge demand for cataract operations, another eye camp was being planned.

Imaz was founded in 2007 and has branches in Bulawayo, Harare and Kwekwe.

Cataracts are the largest single cause of blindness in Zimbabwe and are the major cause of admission in eye hospitals.

At least 100 000 Zimbabweans suffer from preventable blindness caused by cataracts annually, but only about half of them seek treatment because of the huge costs involved.

It costs up to $1 500 to have a cataract operation, which is way beyond the reach of ordinary Zimbabweans.

Most people with cataract problems are senior citizens who stay in rural areas where there are very limited medical facilities.

Zimbabwe is said to have an annual cataract operations backlog of 60 000 and the magnitude of the problem increases each year due to population growth.

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