For the people of Mawlamyine in southeast Myanmar, cataracts are a common problem. The struggle could take a turn for the better however, thanks to a new cataract surgery machine.
219 patients were chosen to undergo free cataract surgery out of thousands of patients who showed up to Banphaeo Hospital in Samut Sakhon. Though only 219 were selected, one hospital in the area received a donated cataract surgery machine and will be able to continue to carry out the much needed work.
The Phacoemulsification machine was donated by Siam Cement Plc (SCG) and should help to treat the current eye issues that plague the area, as well as to reduce the amount of people suffering in the future. Currently, due to the cost of the treatment for cataracts in the area, many people simply opt not to get it corrected.
Banphaeo Hospital board chairman Dr. Mainit Theeratantikanon said, “Given that a large segment of the elderly population is affected, the patients outnumber ophthalmologists in the area. Because of this, many cataract patients have to live with poor eyesight with a low chance of getting proper treatment.”
The Myanmar hospital staff were very happy to see the Thai team come out to help them with some of the current patients and added that they would love to see them come back again in the future, perhaps with a mobile unit for those people that are unable to travel to get corrective surgery.Thai
Cataracts are typically caused from your eyes getting old. As with everything else in your body, your eyes deteriorate over time. Luckily for us, the doctors have a clear defined way ahead and the technology to correct most cataract issues that you will face.
This is the Thai team’s second trip to assist in the area. The first trip, back in October of 2015 saw the successful operation and correction of 209 patients. A number of said patients have returned this year to take care of their other eye.
One ophthalmologist from Banphaeo, Dr. Sittika Kokekhuntod said, “We learned all the patients treated last year have gained eyesight and a lot more showed up this time. Unfortunately we could not treat everybody due to limited resources, so we had to select those who needed medical assistance the most.”
She added that the issue with cataracts in Myanmar is much worse than most of the surrounding areas. Numerous individuals in the area went blind due to the condition going untreated for so long and not being able to obtain treatment. Ophthalmologists are optimistic now in the fight against cataracts, thanks to the donation of the surgery machine.