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Kiwi team checks eye problems

Wednesday April 20, 2016 Written by Published in Health
Ophthalmologist Dr Alison Pereira, eye registrar Dr Sid Ogra and biomedical engineer Audre Smith. 16041812 Ophthalmologist Dr Alison Pereira, eye registrar Dr Sid Ogra and biomedical engineer Audre Smith. 16041812

ADVANCED eye cataracts have become a common problem among elderly Cook Islands residents says visiting New Zealand ophthalmologist Dr Alison Pereira.

 

Pereira is a member of a team of eye specialists from Auckland who are visiting Rarotonga to give new lease of life to people with eyesight problems.

The team’s annual visit attracts mostly middle aged and older men and women. Services they offer range from general check-ups to skin and eye clinics and free pharmaceutical products. 

Led by eye surgeon Dr Paul Rosser, the team consists of three optometrists and three ophthalmologists are working alongside locals.

Pereira said the team aimed to restore or improve the eyesight of 30-40 people a day for the next three weeks.

The team dealt with cataracts and a variety of other diseases affecting eyesight.

“We’ll be seeing a lot of patients, particularly diabetics, to screen them for diabetes-related eye problems like retinopathy (damage to the retina of the eye) and we have brought over lasers so if people need laser treatment they can get it,” Dr Pereira said.

The eye specialist visits are said to have changed the lives of more than 2000 Cook Islanders over the past decade.

“We have the first week to see as many patients as we can and decide whether they need surgery, and the programme goes on for three weeks altogether.”

Pereira said the team had been overwhelmed with the positive response they had received from the public since the programme began.