The Gauteng department of health is tackling the long waiting times for patients in need of cataract surgeries.
The department launched a week-long campaign last week to address surgical backlogs at Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital (CMJAH). During the blitz 150 cataract procedures were completed.
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"The surgical blitz came about as per the undertaking made by the MEC for Health, Ms Qedani Mahlangu to reduce long waiting times for surgeries in all Gauteng hospitals by the end of October," health department spokesperson Steve Mabona told Health24 on Tuesday.
"We can safely say the surgical blitz were indeed a great success both at Charlotte Maxeke Academic Hospital and Hellen Joseph Hospital."
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Mabona said cataract operations are one of the department’s focus areas. "We get quite a number of people presenting with cataracts, hence the focus on the surgeries."
A cataract is a clouding of the lens inside the eye causing vision loss that cannot be corrected with glasses, contact lenses or corneal refractive surgery.
Modern cataract surgery usually can restore vision lost to cataracts — and often can reduce dependence on spectacles. Most cataracts are associated with the aging process and are common among older citizens
The MEC indicated that in the short-term further surgery blitzes will be considered. She said this will be spread out through central, tertiary and regional hospitals.
In July to mark Nelson Mandela International Day, the Gauteng department of health committed to accelerating cataract surgeries.
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Image: Close up of a cataract from Shutterstock