By Antia Roberts. The Chinese medical team with some of the cataract patients
By Antia Roberts. Zhongshan medical team from China returns home today after performing phacoemulsification and treating patients on their tour to Vanuatu this week
Four doctors from China on their medical trip to Vanuatu have performed phacoemulsification, the modern cataract surgery of the eyes, on 12 local patients for free.
Cataract is a medical condition in which the lens of the eye becomes progressively opaque, resulting in blurred vision. The technique used to operate on cataract is called phacoemulsification.
Apart from treating the 12, they attended to 50 other patients.
The team came from the Zhongshan Ophthalmic Centre in Quangdong Province comprising of the deputy director Cheng Weirong, Zhang Xinyu and Bin Liu from the Cataract Department and a registered nurse and head of the operation theater, Chen Aihuan.
People in Vanuatu must eat more nutritious food instead of sugary stuff every day because diabetes can also accelerate cataracts, the deputy head Weirong was speaking to the local media yesterday.
“The hot tropical weather is also another factor contributing to cataracts”, she added.
She said “the rate of diabetes in Vanuatu is high and cataracts is high everywhere in the South Pacific.
“That is why we are here.
“Vanuatu has limited resources, yet it is better for people to get treated earlier before they lose their sights and become blind,” she said.
This medical team from Quangdong begun visiting Vanuatu since 2013 as part of their annual tour to pacific countries.
In 2013, Zhongshan Ophthalmic Centre donated a modern cataract machine to the Eye Clinic. However, on their recent visit the team discovered that local doctors and even doctors from Australia or New Zealand lack the knowledge and skills to operate it and therefore, the machine has not been well maintained.
Using this machine on phacoemulsification (modern cataract surgery) will not cause larger wounds compared to the small incision cataract usually practiced by local nurses in the country.
Cataracts can be removed from all age groups. Most of the patients for the Zhongshan medical team were mostly the elderly people.
Zhongshan is one of the best ophthalmic research centres in China with some of the best medical professionals.
The team came with their own operating equipment and medicines. They spent around USD500,000 on this year’s visit to Vanuatu.
Before coming to Vanuatu, they were in Samoa. They left for China on Saturday.