Scientific letters

The potential impact of a cataract surgery programme on the care of orphans and vulnerable children in Swaziland

J Pons, W E Mapham, B Newsome, L Myer, R Anderson, P Courtright, C Cook

Abstract


We aimed to evaluate the potential impact of a cataract surgery programme at the Good Shepherd Hospital, Siteki, Swaziland, on the care of orphans and vulnerable children in Swaziland. We studied consecutive patients aged 50 years and older undergoing surgery for age-related cataract who reported having children living in their household. Of 131 subjects recruited, 65 (49.6%) were the primary caregivers for the child(ren) in their household. Visual acuities measured 2 weeks after surgery significantly improved. Four weeks after surgery, there was a sizable increase in the proportions of subjects who were able to undertake self-care activities, attend to activities of daily living, undertake income-generating activities and care for children. Cataract surgery on elderly visually impaired patients has the potential to impact positively on the care of orphans and vulnerable children.

Authors' affiliations

J Pons, Good Shepherd Hospital, Siteki, Swaziland

W E Mapham, Good Shepherd Hospital, Siteki, Swaziland

B Newsome, Good Shepherd Hospital, Siteki, Swaziland

L Myer, School of Public Health and Family Medicine and Department of Ophthalmology, University of Cape Town

R Anderson, Good Shepherd Hospital, Siteki, Swaziland

P Courtright, Kilimanjaro Centre for Community Ophthalmology, Tanzania

C Cook, School of Public Health and Family Medicine and Department of Ophthalmology, University of Cape Town

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Cite this article

South African Medical Journal 2012;102(3):140-141.

Article History

Date submitted: 2012-01-04
Date published: 2012-02-23

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