Report on the Free Cataract Surgery Camp Sponsored by Friends of the Gambia Association

Report prepared by: EBRIMA JADAMA

SENIOR OPHTHALMIC MEDICAL ASSISTANCE CATARACT SURGEON

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Account of Cataract Camp

This camp took place at Soma District Hospital in the Lower River Region


Publicity:
 Radio publicity was conducted at soma community radio which also yield a positive result during the radio talk show a lot of people called showing their appreciation and thanking the proud sponsors FOTGA for this noble course restoring sight. The village health workers in their respective communities were inform and they actively sensitize the community, those with eye conditions were send to the hospital for screening and booking. 
Screening: A total of five key villages were selected and community screenings conducted, during which a total of 467 people were screened with various eye conditions with special focus on cataract and the elderly.
Feeding. Was provided for the cataract patients and their escorts each patients is allowed with only one escort so 100 were provide with breakfast, lunch and dinner for one day that they spend at the hospital.
Aftercare. All the operated patients were provided post-operative eye medications and sunglasses as part of their aftercare. They were divided into three groups for their follow ups because all follow ups are conducted at the hospital with its own scheduling
Transport A quite number of patients who benefitted from this free surgery came all the way from neighbouring cassamance since some of the villages in this region are bordering with Senegal. These patients came to the hospital by their own means of transportation but fortunately they were provided return transportation to selected venues and the rest of the journey under taken by themselves this was made possible by using our unit vehicle which was provided fuel from the camp funds to take the post operated patients home.
Operations: The first day of the camp a total of 20 patients were operated, Second day 15 and the final third day 15. Amounting to a total of fifty patients whose sight were restored. All these above-mentioned patients were operated and taken care of by two cataract surgeons
Problems encountered. The main constrain is our operating microscope it’s the longest serving microscope which has a brightness problem the national eye programme has done its utmost best to remedy it but to no avail we recommending a new one. Our staff are not much in term of numbers but whenever we have programmes like this cataract camps staff from other eye units are invited to make the work easy.
Our recommendations are for the camp to be organised annually and, in the near future, if one can be organised in the form of an outreach surgery in the community.

Registered Address: FoTGA, 8 Essex Close, Morden, Surrey, SM4 4NP Telephone: 08454 968078 Registered Charity UK No 1051745, and NGO in The Gambia No A92 Email: info@fotga.org.uk

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