JAGATSINGHPUR: Cataract patients across villages in Jagatsinghpur are awaiting surgery amid the ongoing Covid-19 crisis and inadequate eye specialists at the district headquarters hospital (DHH).There has been no cataract surgery in the DHH for the last nine months due to the pandemic and patients fear loss of vision due to the inordinate delay.
Under the National Programme for Control of Blindness, the Health department holds cataract surgery camps through different health organisations. Patients are also given free medicines and spectacles. But due to the Covid outbreak, the last surgery was conducted in March.
A senior officer of the District Blindness Control Society (DBCS) said, “Nearly 150 cataract patients have been identified but no surgery has been conducted in the DHH due to Covid 19. So the department has negotiated with different agencies like Rotary and Lions Club to conduct cataract surgery in camps,” he said.
On the other hand, the State government had given permission to Essar Bulk Terminal Paradip Ltd to provide eye care service to people of Paradip through Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) in 2013, in which it had set up a camp in Atharbanki government hospital to treat cataract, glaucoma, refractive and other ailments of the eye apart from provisioning free medicines and spectacles. But here too the CSR officer Yugajyoti Mohanty stated that cataract eye surgery has been stopped in Paradip due to Covid -19 and that there are plans to conduct camp from next month.
Chief district medical officer Bijaya Panda also said that steps are being taken to resume surgeries with help of different agencies.