Arua, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The burden of cataract infections at Arua Regional Referral hospital is expected to reduce following the donation of an assortment eye of equipment to the Ophthalmology department. Cataract is a medical condition in which a cloudy area develops in the lens of the eye that leads to a decrease in vision.
Currently, Arua Regional Referral hospital eye department receives between 30 to 60 cases of cataract every month, according to records from the eye department.
The equipment which includes intraocular lens which are implanted in the eye as part of a treatment for cataracts or myopia and ophthalmic knifes were handed over at the facility on Friday morning by Alice Akello, the Arua Resident City Commissioner. She cautioned the hospital management to guard against theft of medical equipment which she says has been rampant during the past few years.
Meanwhile, Joel Oya, the principal Ophthalmology Clinical Officer at Arua Regional Referral hospital has commended the intervention noting that they have been grappling with the high number of cataract patients who turn up at the facility.
He further blames the high number of cataract infections to old age and Covid-19 pandemic induced trauma. According to Oya, they have so far received 13 cases of cataract since the start of this month.
The Director of Arua Regional Referral Hospital, Dr. Alex Andema explains that the intervention is timely noting that it will save a many people from permanent blindness.
Cataract continues to be the leading cause of vision loss in Africa. In 2021, the ministry of health released a report indicating that that 2.5 million Ugandans had both moderate and severe eye-related impairments. Approximately 150,000 (0.4%) are completely blind.