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Nelson Mandela Bay Cataract Camp facilitates a number of surgeries over the span of three days

By Neelam Rahim

It’s hoped that on the 16th, 17th and 18th of July, a number of patients will benefit with a gift of sight or relief from cataracts at the Nelson Mandela Bay cataract camp over the weekend.

Radio Islam speaks to Dr Shabeer Hoosen, head of the ophthalmology Leratong hospital, founder and in charge of the cataract project.

Founded by Muslim organisations, this project was started in 2005. Seven thousand nine hundred and two operations have been done to date, and with the assistance of the Madela Camp, the goal is to reach and cross the eight thousand figure.

Sixty-seven patients are scheduled to undergo the procedure within the next three days.

According to Dr Shabeer, three operation theatres will be in use, accompanied by three surgeons over three days, and the procedures will likely be achieved.

He says that the operation time is averaged at 30 to 40 minutes per patient and will be performed by experienced surgeons from Leratong and other private hospitals.

He added that there would be four surgeons in this specific camp, three of which will work Saturday and Sunday and then be joined by a private surgeon on Monday.

There are at least forty thousand people in Gauteng in need of a cataract operation and more than two hundred thousand in South Africa.

During Covid-19, all non-emergency surgeries were stopped, and as a result, this number has increased.

Dr Shabeer warns that the glaucoma disease carries no pain and vision drop but is severe with high pressure, ultimately causing blindness.

He also advises on a glaucoma check-up after one to two years.

According to Dr Shabeer, cataracts can develop at around any age, mainly around the ages fifty-five through sixty.

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