World AIDS Day
The first World AIDS Day was held in 1988 after health ministers from around the world met in London, England and agreed to such a day as a way of highlighting the enormity of the AIDS pandemic and nations’ responsibility to ensure universal treatment, care and support for people living with HIV and AIDS.
The theme for World AIDS Day 2014 Is ”Getting to zero.” Zero New HIV Infections. Zero Discrimination and Zero AIDS-related deaths.
HIV /AIDS and the Eye
Ocular manifestations of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection are common.
Up to 70% of persons living with significant immune deficiency due to HIV/AIDS encounter HIV associated eye disorders.
A non exhaustive list of these eye problems can be found below:
– Various infections of the eye (herpes etc.)
– Dry eyes
– Kaposi’s sarcoma
– HIV retinopathy
– CMV retinitis (Cyto-Megalo-Virus)
– Retinal detachment etc.
Every person living with HIV should therefore periodically go for a complete eye and fundus examination by his ophthalmologist.
The following symptoms require a visit to the ophthalmologist as soon as possible:
– sudden blurring or loss of vision
– seeing ‘floaters’
– flashes of bright light
You can check your own eyesight for any distorted, blurred or obscured areas while reading a page of a newspaper.
The best way to prevent serious eye problems is to take HIV treatment to boost your immune system.
Main building on June 13th 2014
The roof of the main building of the Magrabi ICO Cameroon Eye Institute is almost complete. Construction work on the second building, an eye ward to take care of outreach patients coming for cataract surgery, treatment for diabetes and its ocular complications etc. will start this week.
Both buildings have been designed to be child friendly and accessible to people living with various forms of disability.
Glaucoma is called the “sneak thief of sight” because it is a silent illness and most people don’t notice they have a problem until vision diminishes substantially or blindness occurs.
Conservative estimates put the proportion of people aged 40 years and above with glaucoma at between 4% in Central, East and Southern Africa to more than 8% in some parts of West Africa.
This means that in Cameroon, there would be more than 150,000 people living with glaucoma, more that 80% of them unaware of it. In addition, there would be at least 8,000 new glaucoma cases, largely undiagnosed, in Cameroon each year.
March 9 – 15 is World Glaucoma Week 2014.
Know your risks.
Join the fight against blindness due to glaucoma.
1. Do you know whether you have glaucoma?
2. Do you know any close relative, friend or colleague with glaucoma?
3. If you are 40 years or above, when is the last time you saw your ophthalmologist for a comprehensive eye exam?
4. Do you know that glaucoma is the first cause of irreversible blindness in Cameroon and most other countries in Africa?
The following Eyesmart video provides an overview on glaucoma.
Champagne cork removal safety tips from the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO).
Happy New Year 2014!
Cameroon Eye Institute Construction Progress
Cameroon Eye Institute on googlemaps
World Diabetes day 2013 falls on November 14th. It marks the fifth and final year of the 2009-2013 campaign on “Diabetes education and prevention.”
The World Diabetes Day 2013 campaign is encouraging everyone to Take a Step for Diabetes, engaging people in the diabetes cause by encouraging them to make a symbolic donation of steps accrued through various activities.
Journee Mondiale du Diabete 2012
Protecting your vision from diabetes: the annual exam every diabetic needs
Correction of visual impairment by cataract surgery in Australian adults, aged 49 years and above, was found to be associated with an approximately 40 percent lower mortality rate according to a recent report. This is not the first time an association between cataract surgery and survival has been found.
In Cameroon, about 14,000 cataract operations are performed each year, yet an estimated 175,000 Cameroonians, aged 49 years and above, have uncorrected visual impairment due to cataract.
What benefits would cataract surgery afford in terms of quality of life, economic productivity etc.? What about survival?
What can be done to ensure that even more Cameroonians (adults and children alike) have access to and benefit from sight restoring cataract surgery?