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Mar 28, 2001

New eye clinic improves patient care

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The Belize Council for the Visually Impaired has for years been providing the public with low cost high quality eye care… and with the recent opening of its new clinic near the K.H.M.H. that service has moved to the next level. Jose Sanchez reports.

Jose Sanchez, Reporting

The eye clinic that occupies the Lion’s building on Princess Margaret Drive does not have an official name, but it has an excellent reputation amongst its patients. And according to Nurse Alice Lewis, though it operates with a small staff of seven including two doctors, four nurses and a receptionist the center is efficient and friendly.

Alice Lewis, Ward Sister

“The services that we offer here: first we do a screening, you can walk in anytime of the day between 8:00 and 4:00 from Monday to Friday. We screen the patients then from screening then we do an assessment and from the finding we do, we refer the patient to the optometrist to check if they need glasses.”

Pamela Feanny’s vision was getting blurry and after she had her appointment with the optometrist she could see the results.

Pamela Feanny, Patient

“I haven’t been able to read. Whenever I want to read anything I got to get the kids to read for me. And watching TV gives me a headache, reading books I get a headache and as I’ve said I’ve lost my first pair in the last hurricane we had.”

Jose Sanchez

“So how was the actual examination?”

Pamela Feanny

“It was great.”

Jose Sanchez

“When are you getting your glasses?”

Pamela Feanny

“In a weeks time.”

Jose Sanchez

“What do you think of the work they are doing here?”

Pamela Feanny

“It’s fantastic, really good.”

Not everyone who visits the center needs a pair of glasses. Sometimes their condition is severe and they are referred to the opthamologist or eye surgeon. Dr. Lo Wilson attends to clients who may need surgery.

Dr. Lo Kaye-Wilson, Eye Surgeon

“I see patients in here who need some sort of medical condition checked out. And these are mostly commonly cataract, glaucoma and diabetes, these are the three main causes of eye problems in Belize. There are a lot of problems as well, but these are the main causes. The patients are checked out here and those who require surgery are operated on upstairs.”

On this day Dr. Wilson had no shortage of cataract patients. And only a few weeks after surgery at least two of them say their vision has improved substantially.

Ruth Tillett, Patient

“I usually use glasses and one day when I wanted to get my examination for a new glasses, they told me I had cataracts, but that it was still small. When I went back, they said it was bigger and it’s time to cut.”

Francisca Jones, Patient

“Well they are doing a good job because people used to frightened me and tell me that I would be left blind and so forth. And I said I believed in God and I am going through.”

Jose Sanchez

“So after the surgery, how do you see now?”

Ruth Tillett

“I feel much better because I could see, I could read. Well I was always able to see, I wasn’t blind, but I wasn’t able to read in the night. Now I can read.”

The success of the clinic has made it earn respect from its clients and next week the Belize Council for the visually impaired will finally honor the clinic by giving it a name. Reporting for News 5, Jose Sanchez.

That name is the National Ophthalmic Unit.

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