Consultant Eye Surgeon of the Hemas Hospital, Wattala, Dr. Shamintha Amaratunge, on Tuesday (27) performed 50 cataract surgeries free of charge.
This project, Sight at 50, was initiated by the Rotary Club of Colombo West, who teamed up with the Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) to help those in the low-income group who faced cataract problems.
President of the Rotary Club of Colombo West, Pradeep Amirthanayagam, told The Sunday Leader that Sight at 50 was one of the projects the Club was carrying out in celebration of their Golden Jubilee Year.
“A lot of our projects have taken place outside the city, so this time we planned to focus on Colombo,” said Amirthanayagam.
“We have had several meetings with the CMC since May, to ensure that the right people – people who really lived below the poverty line – were selected. The CMC has access to these groups, and we also wanted to make sure we helped out people from all three communities.”
Amirthanayagam also explained that this was somewhat of a long-term undertaking, where the patients would be monitored for weeks after the surgery, and provided with the necessary lenses and other medical supplies.
Doctors Sunethra Jayawardane, Preethie Aluthge and Uthika Vignesvararajah from the CMC oversaw the proceedings.
Cataract is common among the ageing population, the nurse in charge, Sister Kamala Perera, said, adding that 60 per cent or so of the ageing population is affected by this.
By Maryam Azwer and Gazala Anver