PHA Marathon Cataract Intervention Programme targets 60 patients

CLOSING CEREMONY – The Grand Bahama Health Services ended its Marathon Cataract Intervention Surgery Week Eye Programme, with a special ceremony at the Rand Memorial Hospital (RMH) on Thursday (June 20). (PHOTOS: JENNEVA RUSSELL)

The Grand Bahama Health Services ended its Marathon Cataract Intervention Surgery Week Eye Programme, with a special ceremony at the Rand Memorial Hospital (RMH) on Thursday (June 20).

GBHS Hospital Administrator Sharon Williams, explained the initiative during an interview with this daily.

She stated that the GBHS found that a number of persons had issues with ophthalmology intervention or eye care. “Ophthalmology is one of the areas where we find ourselves short-staffed.”

She added that this service is often imported into the country.

“Nassau may have quite a few physicians at this time, but there are limitations in Grand Bahama,” she admitted.

Williams furthered that for the Northern Region, particularly in Grand Bahama, the list of patients needing eye care grew once again and so their team decided to implement the intervention programme.

“We came up with the Cataract Surgery Intervention Week, where we would have targeted 60 patients,” she said.

Up to the day of the closing ceremony some 41 of those patients had been seen. Williams noted that they expected to assist over 50, because there were some patients who may have had to be rescheduled due to a number of health variables.

Williams revealed that the Ophthalmology team out of New Providence, greatly assisted in this endeavour.

“Dr. Hermanns and her team would have come in early at the end of the week to make sure that we and the patients are prepared for the surgery for this week,” she said.

She revealed that they first introduced this programme in 2015 and had to rely on the Chinese Government for assistance, but this time around Ophthalmology services have significantly improved.

“Four years later we have significantly improved in that the lead physician, the lead Ophthalmology surgeon is our own Bahamian, Dr. Dawn Russell-Hermanns and the entire team that assisted her would have been from the Public Hospitals Authority,” she said.

Additionally, Williams stated that a new Ophthalmology physician came on board and two nurses are being trained in this specialty.

“With our new physicians and our nursing staff we will certainly be able to hold our own in terms of providing the necessary surgical interventions for the persons in the Northern Region,” she said.

Dr. Dawn Russell-Hermanns Clinical Director of Ophthalmology at Princess Margaret Hospital (PMH) and head of the team out of Nassau sent a video message where she expressed wanting to continue the partnership between Grand Bahama and New Providence regarding this programme and providing quality eye care services in general.

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