Medical: Almost 50 patients have undergone cataract and pterygium surgery in the first two days of an ongoing eye surgical camp being held at Punakha hospital.

The camp saw more than 360 patients from across Wangdue, Punakha and a few from Gasa within the last two days. The weeklong eye camp started on August 29.

Apart from vision checks, cataract and pterygium surgery, the camp also provided treatments for lid diseases, disease of the naso-lacrimal system, corneal diseases, refractive error and presbyopia.

The surgical camp is being organised by Tarayana Foundation in partnership with the heath ministry, with financial support of KEPCO and Better World Foundation.

KEPCO is an electrical company and supports people who need surgical attention for the eyes, according to Tarayana officials. Better World Foundation is a South Korean  non-government organisation.

Eye specialist and senior ophthalmologist at JDWNRH, Dr Dechen Wangmo said such surgical camps are conducted since most elderly people in the country become blind due to cataracts. She said the only treatment for cateracts is surgery.

“Since many cannot travel to places like Thimphu, Mongar and Gelephu, where we have centres, so we reach out to different districts every year,” she said.

The organisers have also provided food and lodging for patients coming from far-flung places.

Meanwhile, Tarayana Foundation also works with the Better World Foundation in other fields including solar energy and school development.

Dawa Gyelmo | Punakha