First-ever eye treatment camp reaches SaipalA health camp is being conducted in the rural municipality for a week to examine the locals for vision-related ailments.
A team of health workers has reached Saipal, a remote local unit in Bajhang district, to conduct a free eye camp for the locals.
Five health workers from the Kailali-based Geta Eye Hospital and Bajhang District Hospital reached Dhaulagaun village in Saipal on Wednesday and examined 135 patients with vision impairment.
This is the first-ever health team dispatched in the remote region of Saipal.
Out of around 500 elderly people in Saipal Rural Municipality, 300 are visually impaired. Most of them are suffering from cataract, an opacification of the lens of the eyes which leads to partial or total blindness in a person. The authorities had expressed their concerns after it came to light that a majority of elderly people in Saipal were living with treatable eye problems.
"Of the total 135 people that were examined on Wednesday, 18 need surgery for cataract and other ailments. Fifty-five are in need of prescription eyeglasses after surgery," assistant health worker Janak Kumar Bista, a member of the health team who reached Saipal on Wednesday, told the Post over the telephone. According to him, the health team will organise eye camps in three wards of the local body.
"We will continue conducting eye camps till September 23. We will be able to examine almost all patients with eye problems in the next few days," said Bista. “We will then be able to tell exactly how many people in the villages have eye problems and of what kind.”
Arjun Thapa, speaker of Sudurpaschim Province Assembly, had held talks with the chief minister and social development minister of the province last week about conducting health camps in the remote areas of Saipal.
According to Chief District Officer of Bajhang Kamal Raj Bhandari, ophthalmologist Dr Sanduk Ruit will be conducting an eye camp in Saipal by mid-October.
“Ruit's team will soon organise an eye camp and bear all expenses required for surgery, medicines and eyeglasses. Efforts are underway to organise the eye camp," said. "We will inform Ruit about the number of eye patients after the health team returns from Saipal after conducting primary eye examination."
Ruit, who is the director of Tilganga Institute of Ophthalmology, and his team will manage the eye camp and bear the treatment expenses of all patients. The Sudurpaschim Provincial Government will manage helicopters to transport the health workers and medical equipment to the remote village. It takes three to four days to reach the settlements of Saipal from Chainpur, the district headquarters of Bajhang.
The provincial government is planning to organise an integrated health camp, including specialist doctors, for the treatment of women and children as well. Thapa said the provincial government had already handed over the responsibility to Bajhang District Hospital.
"Preparation to organise the integrated health camp is underway. We plan to include ultrasound, X-ray services and mobile laboratories and provide treatment of various ailments, including uterine prolapse, tuberculosis, leprosy, heart and lungs ailments, ENT, and dental, among other services," said Dr Sandip Okheda, the chief at the district hospital.