The eye camp dubbed ‘ cataract extraction’ is partly sponsored by Kenya Ear Association, Dr Manu D’cruz and Dr Manu Chandaria. Christened Kenya Rural Blindness Eradication Project, Rotary Club of Nairobi has been performing free cataract operations in rural areas for the last 25 years.
Dr Joshi and his team have performed more than 14,000 free cataract operations and over 100 free corneal transplants during the period.
The only challenge the doctors are faced with in their project to restore sight of suffering Kenyans is financial limitations.
Other teammates are Rotarian Salim Fazal (Co-ordinater), Rotarian David Hastie (Financial Controller), Ophthalmologists Dr Jafferji of Kikuyu Eye Hospital and Dr Onsomo of Nakuru. The club is also doing free Corneal Transplant for keratoconus Patients. Keratoconus is a disease characterised by the cornea coming out of shape. If not treated on time the cornea can perforate, giving rise to white cornea, a condition known as hydrops.
The doctors have made a major breakthrough in technology of Corneal Transplant assisted by laser also known as Laser Assisted Corneal Transplant (LACT) for the first time in Africa and Asia.
Lact is where 1000Htz laser will remove the irregular cornea and leave the patient’s thin layer of the cornea behind. In a similar way, the donor’s cornea is sculpted by the laser such that it will match like a jig-saw puzzle. The cornea is fitted on the recipient and a few stitches inserted.
The club has embarked on a new project in conjunction with the Swiss Embassy of doing Laser Assisted Corneal Transplants for poor patients. Most cataracts are due to age-related changes in the lens of the eye. Possible signs of cataracts include blurriness in one’s field of vision; poor colour or contrast sensitivity and sensitivity to light.
Early in the development of age-related cataracts, the power of the lens may be increased, causing near-sightedness (myopia).
The gradual yellowing and opacification of the lens may reduce the perception of blue colours. Cataracts typically progress slowly to cause loss of vision, and are potentially blinding if left untreated.
The condition usually affects both eyes; but almost always, one eye is affected earlier than the other.