Posted on October 12, 2018

Marking World Sight Day, Hamad Medical Corporation has urged people to undergo eye examinations to prevent avoidable blindness, as 80 percent of all vision impairments are preventable.

Trauma, cataract, glaucoma (blue water) and retinal detachment due to diabetes are the main causes of blindness in Qatar, said Dr Deena Safwan Zeedan, Specialist Ophthalmologist at HMC, yesterday. “Awareness, prevention and regular check-ups are the best options for people with a high risk of vision impairment, such as individuals living with diabetes. Diabetes are common in Qatar and most cases we see with vision problems have uncontrolled diabetes. “Eye damages due to trauma is also very high in Qatar. We usually see such cases in the emergency room,” said Dr Zeedan, who is also a member of the blindness prevention programme.

“When it comes to preserving your vision, early detection is the solution. The blindness prevention programme in the country targets all age groups such as the newborns, elderly, children, schoolchildren, people with special needs above 40 and workers,” she said, speaking on the sidelines of screening and awareness activities held at the Hamad General Hospital (HGH). The World Sight Day is an annual awareness event that takes place on the second Thursday of October. Qatar joined the world in activities marking World Sight Day yesterday with this year’s theme ‘Eye Care Everywhere’ in light of ‘Vision 2020,’ the Global Initiative for the Elimination of Avoidable Blindness. The initiative was launched by the World Health Organisation and International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness to eradicate cause of avoidable blindness by 2020.

As part of its World Sight Day campaign, HMC provided free eye check-up to public visiting the HGH. Activities also focused on educating the public about reasons behind sight disabilities and the need to pay adequate attention to eye health and sight checking. “The day is an important advocacy and communications opportunity for the eye health community. It is a time to engage with a wider audience including children and adults. Our activities aim to showcase why eye health needs everybody’s attention,” said Dr Abdulaziz Al Kaabi, Resident Ophthalmologist at HMC.

At least 20 people with eye problems which need urgent attention were detected during the first four hours of HMC’s screening and awareness activities. “If any eye diseases are detected, we refer the person to the ophthalmology clinic at HGH,” said Dr Al Kaabi. HMC offers a wide range of services in ophthalmology and its sub specialties including outpatient and emergency services and surgeries.

source: The Peninsula