|Year : 1954 | Volume
| Issue : 2 | Page : 55-56
H Y Bakre
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
|How to cite this article:|
Bakre H Y. Correspondence. Indian J Ophthalmol 1954;2:55-6
Journal of the All-India Ophthalmological Society.
After settling in Jalgaon I am holding eye-relief camps in rural places with the help of the local public. Herewith I am sending to you certain conclusions I arrived at one of such camps, which I believe are of some practical value.
While working in government eye-camps even though I was aware of the high incidence of corneal opacities, I was not aware of the fact that majority of the opacities were sequalx of the irritants used as treatment mainly of conjunctivitis and trachoma by quacks and not sequalx of the disease itself.
On every alternate day in my rooms here I get a child with eyes closed which show a large ulcer, on examination of which the cause is not any primary infection but some irritant put in powder form.
Out of ten cataract cases that come to me with the idea of getting the sight back by operation at least one is a case of absolute glaucoma. Unaware of the possibility of such a disease he allows the partial blindness to mature into a complete one and then comes to the Doctor, quite sure of regaining his lost sight.
No number of eye-camps is going to change this condition. No check will be put on the number of blind and semi-blind children that are produced in villages as a result of irritants used and comparatively young blind as a result of glaucoma.
The eye-camp gives benefit to old people whose span of life after getting sight generally does not exceed ten years, and whose ambition in life after getting sight does not go beyond doing the daily ablutions without any body's help.
The parents of the children with opacities attending the eye-camp are never aware nor are they told the fact that the opacities are the result of the irritant put in and not the result of the disease itself. Similarly, patients with absolute glaucoma are not told in the eye-camp that early consultation with a doctor would have definitely saved the eye and that in old age when sight goes down one should not pre-suppose that it is due to cataract and wait till one gets completely blind. Glaucoma may be a next possibility and the only rational way to exclude glaucoma is to consult a doctor when sight starts going down.
As far as I know every body conducting eye-camps, and now there are plenty of eye-camps, looks at the bright side and flatters himself counting the number of lenses delivered, completely neglecting the other more important side, the number of cases he could not cure and sent home without treatment.
The purpose of organising eye-relief camps should be
(1) To give sight to the poor blind.
(2) To make villagers doctor-conscious.
(3) To make them conscious about the difference between crude medication and scientific medication.
In an eye-relief camp a total of 600 patients were examined, out of which 150 operations were performed. These patients got their sight back. In my opinion more important were the people sent back as incurably blind-total or partial.
This group consisted of
(1) Corneal opacities and staphylomas-partial blindness or disfigurement.
(2) Absolute Glaucomas.
Out of 600 patients 75 (12 % ) had corneal opacities all under the age of 15; 50 (9 %) were blind as a result of glaucoma.
Blindness as a result of these diseases is incurable. One has to prevent these people from getting blind.
The only solution which is possible by Government help is
(1) to hold a demonstration of documentary films in villages such as
(a) Conjunctivitis treated by irritants leading to ulcer formation ending in opacity or staphyloma and the same treated by corzect methods.
(c) early detection of glaucoma when patient visits the doctor for glasses or headaches.
(2) to ban advertisements misleading the public.
(3) put a check on quacks who move from house to house in villages couching cataractous eyes and administering remedies which are extremely irritant to the
Any eye-camp should have two sides educative, and curative. Educative-Distribution of similar pamphlets and demonstration of films through the Government publicity department.
Curative-As organised at present.