Patients with complicated eye conditions that require specialised surgeries such as cornea transplants and retina conditions will not have to travel to India or other countries for treatment anymore after a specialised eye care centre was yesterday opened in Kampala.
Officiating at the launch of Dr Agarwal’s Eye Hospital, the minister for Health, Dr Elioda Tumwesigye, said the move will help reduce on the number of referrals abroad.
“There are people who need medical attention but cannot get it in Uganda so they are referred to places like India to receive it and it is a big problem,” Dr Tumwesigye said.
He added that the hospital will help reduce these referrals and as well encourage medical tourism.”
The hospital, located on Lumumba Avenue in Uganda, is the 12th in Africa and among the 60 across the world.
Dr Amal Agarwal, the proprietor of the hospital said the hospital aims at eradicating blindness in the country.
“We are offering 100 free cataract surgeries to the Ministry of Health and if a person who does not have the resources to access our service walks to our door, we shall be able to treat them,” Dr Agarwal explained.
Other specialised services to be offered include diabetic retiphany investigations and treatment and eye cancer diagnosis and treatment.
According to Dr Grace Ssali, the chairperson of ophthalmologists in Uganda, though some of the procedures such as testing and treatment of diabetic retiphany are available at Mulago hospital, the Dr Agarwal’s eye hospital will cater for more complicated eye conditions.
More than 100,000 Ugandas are blind, according to Prof Kenneth Kagame, the hospital’s medical director. Dr Moses Kasadhakawo, a consultant ophthalmologist at Mulago hospital said of the 4000 children in Uganda who have severe vision impairment, one and a half of them are caused by cataract or fog in the eye.
Dr Agarwal’s eye hospital will also offer training opportunities for Ugandan ophthalmologists in India.