Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS - TESS I IKONOMOU

ONE thou­sand peo­ple have had their sight re­stored fol­low­ing treat­ment from Townsville’s YWAM Med­i­cal Ships oph­thal­mol­ogy clinic.

Sur­geons aboard the ship per­formed Ella Waibala’s cataract surgery, help­ing her see clearly again.

In col­lab­o­ra­tion with na­tional and pro­vin­cial health au­thor­i­ties, YWAM Med­i­cal Ships have been pro­vid­ing oph­thalmic ser­vices to re­mote com­mu­ni­ties in Pa­pua New Guinea since 2010.

Man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Ken Mul­li­gan said the surg­eries pre­vented peo­ple from re­main­ing blind all their lives.

“The surg­eries are trans­for­ma­tive for not only the in­di­vid­u­als, but also their fam­i­lies and com­mu­ni­ties. It is very spe­cial to see some­one walk into the clinic blind, then leave the next day with their sight re­stored,” he said.

PNG Na­tional Pre­ven­tion of Blind­ness Com­mit­tee pres­i­dent Dr Jambi Garap said YWAM played a vi­tal role in pro­vid­ing re­mote com­mu­ni­ties with ac­cess to oph­thalmic ser­vices.

“This achieve­ment con­trib­utes to­ward our shared goal of al­le­vi­at­ing pre­ventable blind­ness in PNG – it is a won­der­ful time to cel­e­brate in the lead up to World Sight Day next week, and our na­tional cataract cam­paign ( next month),” he said.

SIGHT- SAV­ING WORK: YWAM Med­i­cal Ships vol­un­teer oph­thal­mol­o­gist Dr Keith Maslin, pa­tient Ella Waibala and Alotau Hospi­tal scrub nurse Alice Eroro.

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