By Foday Moriba Conteh
The 6th June every year is observed as Chinese National Eye Care Day. The day is designated to dilate on the importance of eye health and promoting eye care awareness among the general public since 1996.
In a bid to observe this year’s Chinese National Eye Care Day on the theme: “Prioritizing Universal Eye Health” which also marked the 28th “Sight Day” in China, Dr. Wang Wanpeng, from the Eye Center of Xiangya Hospital, Central South University, who also doubles as a member of the 24th batch China medical team to Sierra Leone has called on everyone to enhance the awareness of eye care and eye health.
According to Dr. Wang Wanpeng, Sierra Leone which is located in West Africa is a country with strong ultraviolet light and high incidence of eye diseases, mainly cataract and glaucoma, and the age when cataract is contracted is younger than that of many countries.
He ,however, said due to the lack of medical resources, poor health awareness and low income, many patients’ eyesight have been reduced to the level of blindness when they first see a doctor, adding that not long ago, Dr. Wang received a 105-year-old cataract patient.
Dr. Wang Wanpeng maintained that the patient’s cataract condition was serious, and his vision was only hazy and his family members had a strong desire to restore his vision through surgery furthering that when the patient opened his eyes, he saw the long-lost light and immediately shed tears of excitement. He put one arm around his family and the other around Dr. Wang, and shouted happily, “Chinese doctor! Good!”
In addition to daily diagnosis and treatment work, Dr. Wang Wanpeng also shoulders the task of further promoting the Ophthalmic counterpart Cooperation Project between Xiangya Hospital of Central South University of China and Sierra Leone-China Friendship Hospital.
The project will introduce domestic advanced ophthalmic instruments and equipment, carry out more relevant technical diagnosis and treatment and impart knowledge to local doctors, so as to promote the improvement of ophthalmic health care in Sierra Leone.