Friday, 7 June 2013

A day with the field eye team...

Every week, the Mercy Vision Eye Team visits local clinics to screen patients for cataracts and other eye complaints. This is where we find the bulk of our patients for cataract removal surgery. I had the privilege of being able to drive the field eye team to their locations last week.

One of the clinics we visited was Mapuzi Clinic, located close to Coffee Bay. We were given a small room in a corrugated iron container building on the clinic's grounds. We made do as best we could with the limited space. Thankfully, the weather was beautiful, and so Asanda (the team administrator) could set up her admin table outside, along with one of the eye testing charts. This saved space inside for Mohau (our optometrist) and Mandini (our translator) and the auto refractor machine.

Patients see Asanda first and give her their information - such as what their eye complaint is - and then they have their VA (Visual Acuity) eye test. Once that is done, they see Mohau for a more extensive eye examination including measuring the pressure of the eye and using the auto refractor. Many patients have teary eyes, itchy eyes, blurred vision, or a combination of all three. Once the cause of the eye problem is established, eye drops may be prescribed. Some other cases require cataract surgery and so the patient is given an appointment card for surgery at Zithulele.

We had a pretty quiet morning, but saw more people than I initially expected. We left at around 12h30 and headed back to Zithulele Mission Hospital. It was an interesting morning with the field eye team!

 Unathi and Asanda help this patient with her VA eye test.
 Mohau and Mandini work the auto refractor.
 I was pretty excited to find my name emblazoned on this large water container!
 Cute little girl.
 Another view of our location at Mapuzi Clinic.

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