Over 217 patients have been registered for the eye care test and surgery in Kavieng, New Ireland Province.
Officer in Charge of the eye unit in Kavieng, Shirley Lalen, told EMTV News that numbers are expected to increase in coming days.
“In 2014, 154 surgeries; 2015, 203 cases; beginning of this year 103 and this time we have 217 on waiting list, which is likely to increase anytime,”
The program is jointly delivered under the theme “Reducing Blindness in New Ireland,” and is in partnership by the New Ireland Provincial Government and the Fred Hollows Foundation.
The Fred Hollows Foundation has paid several visits to New Ireland Province, conducting eye care screening and surgeries since 2014.
The Fred Hollows Foundation Outreach Team Leader, Getruth Bare, said that from their experience in screening, 70 percent of blindness in Papua New Guinea is cataract related. Cataract is a medical condition in which the lens of the eye becomes progressively opaque, resulting in blurred vision.
“And we do screening and identify eye conditions; if there is need for surgery we refer them to the ophthalmologist. Any other infection is treated at outpatient we give them medicine.”
The operation will end on October 1, 2016.