Sat | Aug 19, 2017

$10m eye care gift

Published:Saturday | July 16, 2016 | 7:00 AM
This operating microscope is among valuable pieces of equipment donated to the Ophthalmology Department of the Cornwall Regional Hospital (CRH) by Rotary clubs recently. The equipment were formally handed over to the hospital by Rotary International President John Germ (fifth left), accompanied by Mrs Germ (far right). From left are Kevin Cooley of suppliers Presscott Inc; Head of Ophthalmology at CRH Dr Claudine Green-Hemmings; CRH CEO Anthony Smikle, and Consultant Ophthalmologist Dr Janice Grant.

The Cornwall Regional Hospital (CRH) in Montego Bay, St James, is now equipped to offer first-world eye care to patients requiring surgery for cataracts.

"We're offering first-world service in a developing world," says Consultant Ophthalmologist, Dr Claudine Green-Hemmings, thanks to equipment valued J$10 million from the Rotarians.

Doctors in Ophthalmology at CRH see some 10,000 patients each year. Of that number, an average 2,000 are new patients with ailments as glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, traumatic events and cataracts.

"We do 300 cataract surgeries annually and another 300 minor surgeries while emergency care is done at a rate of about 50 annually," says Dr Green-Hemmings.

She notes, however, that while serving an overall population of over 500,000 throughout western Jamaica, and beyond, "our main restrictions are in the clinics and the operating theatres."

That is why she was elated recently when the Rotary Club of Montego Bay, in partnership with other Rotary Clubs in and Rotary Foundation, formally turned over valuable pieces of equipment that puts CRH in line with world standards for eye treatment.

Vast improvement in service is made possible with a new operating microscope, switch lamps, visual acuity testers, ophthalmoscopes and surgical instruments.

The handing over ceremony in the boardroom the hospital, was done by President of Rotary International, John Germ.