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More than 400 eye patients in Tabubil have undergone eye care treatment provided by Fred Hollows Eye Specialist team from Madang, during a week-long eye surgical outreach program last week.

The eye patients consisted of Ok Tedi Mining Limited employees and its contractors and also the people from nearby communities and villages in Tabubil.

Tabubil Hospital Administrator Ms Margareth Samei confirmed from the statistics collected, that a total attendance of 475 patients with eye problems were screened, 91 patients with Cataract and Pterygium had operations. However, 9 patients were not operated due to High Blood Pressure.

Ms Samei added that this year the number of eye patients registered and screened was much higher compared to three years back when the same visiting team were in Tabubil.

According to the Senior Medical Ophthalmologist and Team Leader, Dr David Pahau “Cataract is when a cloudy area in the lens of the eye that leads to a decrease in vision, which develops slowly and can affect one or both eyes eventually. And Pterygium is a pinkish growth of tissue which is linked to formation of cataract”.

The patients who went in for eye operation included age groups of mostly 50 – 60 years of age, a few middle aged and a young 11-year-old boy who lost his sight two years ago due to cataract while he was doing his 2nd grade which had caused him to leave school.

11-year-old Gailus Gai, from Oksapmin village in Tabubil, after a day of operation had expressed the joy of having his sight restored again.

“I am happy that I am able to see again so I can continue my education next year till I become a teacher because it is my dream,” he said.

The Eye Specialist Team will continue on to Kiunga today, for another week-long program.

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