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Jan 14, 2011

Free eye surgeries at the BCVI

They have been to Belize before to perform corrective eye surgery on adults and children who have crossed eyes or similar visual disorders. We caught up today with the two ophthalmologists who were again providing free eye surgeries at the Belize Council for the Visually Impaired to persons with eye defects.  The two surgeons gave us a “clearer look” at what they were doing.

Dr. Dave Stager, Pediatric Ophthalmologist, USA

Dave Stager

“My colleague, Dr. Lederman and I founded an organization called ‘One world One vision’ and this organization’s primary objective is to teach doctors in other countries how to do surgeries for children.”

Marion Ali

“Right now what are you doing?”

Dr. Dave Stager

“On this trip we’ll be doing a lot of surgeries for crossed eyes or eyes that don’t line up. We’re also going to do surgery on adults with the same problem and also surgery on children with cataracts.   The doctors here in Belize don’t have sufficient training in strabismus surgery. A lot of doctors throughout the world don’t have sufficient training in strabismus surgery. We have both trained specifically in fellowship programs that trained us how to do this type of surgery.”

Dr. Martin Lederman, Teacher, Colombia University, USA

Martin Lederman

“The whole idea or what we’re trying to do is to teach techniques not only in terms of surgery, to fix them, but also in how to evaluate them so that we know what kind of surgery to do.”

Dr. Dave Stager

“Patients with strabismus have significant problems in several areas. In children, their vision will fail to develop normally and in fact strabismus is one of the leading causes of vision loss in one eye of all the different causes of visual impairment. So children that have a eye that doesn’t line up often times will lose significant vision out of the eye, they will also be impaired because they lose their binocular vision or their ability to judge depths and their peripheral vision. Adults will suffer a lot of the social problems associated with this—they will be outcast socially, they would be thought to be demonized and they will also have problems with their depth perception because of it.”

Marion Ali

“Is it something that you are born with or can it just happen?”

Dr. Dave Stager

“It happens both ways—a lot of children are born with it and a lot of individuals perhaps half will develop it either because of genetics problems or could be from a car accident or could be other medical problems such as brain tumors, or diabetes or thyroid problem—other medical conditions.”

The eye surgeons hope to donate surgical instruments to the BCVI.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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