First eye clinic opens in Wau

4 Jul 2012

First eye clinic opens in Wau

2 July 2012 - Answering an urgent need for optical services in Western Bahr El-Ghazal State, Eye Saver Modern Clinic opened its doors today in the capital Wau.

The private clinic is the first of its kind in the state and second in the whole of South Sudan after the company's main facility in Juba.

"This clinic is very important for the people of Western Bahr El-Ghazal state ... it gives ... health service for people with eye problems," said South Sudan Minister of Health Dr. Michael Hussein during the inauguration ceremony.

"Western Bahr El-Ghazal state is known for a high percentage of River Blindness," Dr. Milli added, noting that the centre would also treat people suffering from cataracts and glaucoma.

River Blindness, caused by a tse-tse fly bite, is particularly prevalent in the state's Raja County. In an earlier interview, County Commissioner Rizik Dominic estimated its prevalence there to be about 75 per cent.

Minister Milli noted that people with eye problems had previously waited for medical teams that came to the state from Egypt or other countries once a year to organize free clinics.

Eye Saver Modern Clinic decided to expand to Wau after discovering that most eye cases it received in the Juba facility came from Wau, said its manager, Dr. Jack Dish. "We are trying to minimize eye problems by medication, glasses and even surgical operations."

Patient Tereza Anget, waiting for her eye diagnosis results, said the clinic was much better equipped than Wau Teaching Hospital where she had gone for treatment in the past.

"I came here of get treatment for my right eye, which has been giving me severe pain for the last seven years," Ms. Anget said, adding that she would tell others suffering from eye problems about the clinic.

Preparations were underway to establish a similar clinic in the Upper Nile State capital Malakal, which was experiencing a growing number of eye-related sicknesses, Dr. Dish said.