COVID- 19 Pandemic Affects Cataract Removal Operations In Zimbabwe - Report
Cataract removal operations have been halted in many parts of the globe including in Zimbabwe due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, The Zimbabwean reports.
According to CBM a disability charity, only one hospital in Zimbabwe was able to offer cataract-removal surgery in Zimbabwe and that one hospital was even forced to halt operations late last year due to the pandemic-induced lockdowns.
CBM UK CEO Kirsty Smith said their partner in Norton could only help some patients who needed cataract removal due to overwhelming demand:
We’ve seen here, in the UK, how the virus has caused major problems for delivering health services, and the same has happened in Zimbabwe; but, in a system that was already stretched to breaking point, the impact has been devastating.
At one point last year, our partner hospital, Norton Eye Unit, was the only hospital in the whole country still doing cataract operations. Thanks to our generous supporters, we were able to make sure they had protective equipment, and the medical team bravely continued their vital work, restoring sight.
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But they were overwhelmed with demand. Only those who were completely blind in both eyes could even be considered for surgery, with others having to be turned away every day.
CBM has already started a fundraising campaign branded Light up Lives to raise funds to help people access free cataract-removal surgery.
Zimbabwe according to the publication, has the highest rate of blindness in the world, 3.7% of people aged over 50 in one region are blind according to the publication.
Source: The Zimbabwean