South Sudan At Risk From Blindness due to lack of Ophthalmologist

JUBA, Sudan, Aug 14 (IPS) – In the war-devastated South Sudan, a region with a population of over eight million people, Yeneneh Mulugeta is the only permanent ophthalmologist.
Dozens visit the eye clinic in the semi-autonomous region’s capital every day from across the South trying to have their sight restored, mostly old and silent, waiting their turn with a helper. The Ethiopian doctor has performed hundreds of cataract operations – removing the protein build-up that covers the eye – that miraculously bring back sight.
Reversible cataract is probably responsible for half the cases of blindness in the South, but Mulugeta and government officials in the health sector know there are thousands who have no access to treatment. They also know – although no comprehensive studies have been done – that many thousands are at risk from two of the world’s leading blindness-causing infectious diseases; river-blindness and trachoma. Read More ...