It’s World Sight Day at the NCRHA!
World Sight Day is observed on the second Thursday in October annually, to bring awareness to the public domain regarding blindness and sight impairment. Although the first observation in 1998 was initiated by a partnership between Lions Clubs International and other blindness presentation organizations worldwide; the event was subsequently integrated into VISION 2020, a global initiative that is now coordinated by the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB).
This year, WSD falls on the 13th of October 2022. As is customary, the NCRHA, being a provider of eye-care services will utilize the opportunity to direct the public’s attention to the importance of eye care. Our commitment to administer continuous and improved eye-care services that meet our patients’ needs, is steadfast and unwavering, as we aspire to improve sight amongst our general population.
The NCRHA generally presents as a force for good health through the application of a systems approach to improvement, in every of facet of its operations. In the area of eye care, the NCRHA introduced investigative services targeting two known vulnerable patient groups: diabetics and new-borns via the implementation of the Diabetic Retinopathy Screening Service (DRSS) and the Retinopathy of Prematurity Screening Service.
About Diabetic Retinopathy Screening Service (DRSS)
Diabetes is one of the top three causes of blindness in Trinidad and Tobago. Having discovered this, the NCRHA sought to address these unfavourable findings by directing their focus to earlier detection of diabetic related eye disease. Through the use of modern and cutting-edge technology, diabetics can now have their retina (back of the eye) photographed which is then interpreted by a qualified grader who examines the image for diabetic damage. If a problem is detected, the patient can be referred to the eye clinic in timely manner depending on the severity of risk involved. According to the results, this allows the patient to be escalated more quickly through the system and permits the eye care specialist to make more opportune interventions towards the preservation of the patient’s eyesight. This simple non-invasive test that takes only a few minutes, via a special camera, but prevents avoidable blindness on a large scale.
Retinopathy of Prematurity Screening Service
This is a new service that will be coming stream soon at the NCRHA. Premature babies are at risk for developing damage to their retinas due to their underdeveloped status. Often times, the discovery of the diagnosis is tardy and blindness ensues. In consideration, the NCRHA will soon be screening these vulnerable babies in the neonatal ICU shortly after birth; thus allowing for immediate detection of retinopathy of prematurity and providing timely treatment to prevent irreversible blindness.
Our Ophthalmology Department
Our EWMSC Ophthalmology (Eye) Department also plays an integral role in the holistic approach to care of our patients by providing:
- A once weekly diabetic retinopathy screening clinic dedicated to only diabetic patients where almost 100 patients per month are examined by eye doctors and treated, separate from our usual eye clinics.
- A daily screening of all patients seen at our Diabetic Wellness Centre at EWMSC
- A once weekly eye screening of diabetic pregnant patients in the antenatal clinic of the Mt Hope Women’s hospital
- Eye screening for all My Brother’s Keeper Initiatives done on weekends at the St Joseph Enhanced Health Facility
Expansion of service and service delivery
- Recent addition of a second Ophthalmology department located at the Arima General Hospital where full clinical services are available including cataract and other eye surgeries and daily eye clinics
- Surgical Sundays where additional cataract surgeries are performed separate from daily elective lists
- The recent acquisition of an expanded range of sizes of intraocular lenses (artificial lens implant) used during cataract surgery to now be able to do a much broader selection of patients.
At the NCRHA, we care about our patients’ eye health. We are driven to provide premium standards of eye care delivery to all our patients, from babies to adults to improve their vision and by extension, their quality of life. Help us to help you by putting your vision first. Do not delay your eye examination. Say no to avoidable blindness and yes to an eye test, and remember to … love your eyes.
Happy World Sight Day!
From the NCRHA