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Sunday, 18 September 2011

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CMC restores sight of elderly city dwellers

For many people, losing eye sight is almost the end of their life as they no longer can survive in the normal society as abled men and women. Out of them many people are lucky enough to regain their lost eye sight spending lavishly for eye surgeries.

But this is not the case for the people who are living in low income settlements in the Colombo city, though they live having all the facilities within their eye sight. For the elderly people who are living with their extended families in the low income settlements this becomes a remote hope in their life as they are not in the priority lists in their families as they are mainly living on daily wages.

The Colombo Municipal Council which is taking care of their basic needs of the low income settlers in the city has come forward to make this remote hope a reality for 55 elderly people under a joint project along Rotary Club of Colombo West giving them their lost eye sight after arranging cataract surgeries at the Hemas hospital, Wattala and under the Guinness record holder Consultant Ophthalmologist, Dr. Shaminda Amarathunga.

According to Special Commissioner of the Colombo Municipal Council Omar Kamil for the second consecutive year the Rotary Club of Colombo West has jointly agreed to work with the Colombo Municipal Council to conduct cataract operations for 55 who are above the age of 50 years.

"We have selected these elderly people for this program from low income settlements as they are the most needy section of Colombo. Therefore it is a very noble project to which Rotary Club has agreed to conduct," Kamil added.

It was the Health Curative Department of the CMC headed by Dr. Nimmi Wickremasinghe who had taken the lead along with other doctors to select the people who were in need of cataract operations.

"Last year too we did this project. This is the second time we are continuing with this project. Fifty five persons who require cataract surgeries have been screened by the CMC Health Curative Department Medical Staff Dr. Aluthge and Dr. Vigneshvararaja and taken to the Hemas hospital, Wattala last Thursday for cataract surgeries," he added.

Rotary Club of Colombo West arranged this program and made available the Hemas hospital under Dr. Aruna Rabiel.

"Dr. Aruna Rabiel told me that this is a very noble project where we give sight to people and they were happy to made available us the theatre for the second consecutive year freely.

"We also like to mention that Dr. Shaminda Amarathunga Consultant Ophthalmologist who last year too conducted this surgery and agreed once again to go ahead with this surgery and all these are being done without any charges and compensation.

The hospital and doctors are doing this without charging any fee.

Therefore this is certainly a noble task on their part providing sight to people," Kamil added.

President of the Rotary Club of Colombo West Dr. Doulat Kundanmal who has taken over the Presidency from his predecessor Pradeep Amirthanayagam who last year originated this project conducted this program along with the Colombo Municipal Council.

"I must say that everyone who had participated in the program are most happy to participate in this project and they feel that they are doing a noble act by giving sight to those who really deserved," Kamil added.

According to Dr. Nimmi Wickremasinghe the doctors attached to the Health Curative Department who are screening the patients identified the needy patients out of them.

"We really worked hard when screening them and do fasting blood sugar reports and ECG reports to see whether they are fit for surgery and we were monitoring them periodically.

The Rotary Club provided transport, food for the patients and the CMC health curative department accompanied them to the hospital. The doctors were also there with the patients throughout the operation",

Dr. Wickramasinghe added.

"The Rotary Club has given us the best lenses and every patient was provided medication for post operative care. Post operative care will be done by the doctors of the Health Curative Department," she added.

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