Africa-Press – Mauritius. Four state-of-the-art equipment for cataract, vitrectomy and glaucoma surgeries, were remitted, this evening, to the Prime Minister, Mr Pravind Kumar Jugnauth, by the Rotary Club of Beau Bassin/Rose Hill during a symbolic ceremony held at Le Labourdonnais Waterfront Hotel in Port Louis.
The Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr Kailesh Kumar Jagutpal; the Minister of Gender Equality, Child Development and Family Welfare, Mrs Kalpana Devi Koonjoo-Shah; the President of the Rotary Club of Beau Bassin/Rose Hill, Mr Arvin Authelsingh; and the project leader, Mr Maheshwarsingh Chakhoor, were also present the event.
In his keynote address, the Prime Minister extended his gratitude for the donation of those equipment by the Rotary Club while stressing that these equipment will be a distinctive addition to the resources of the public health care. He commended the activities of the Rotary Club and other non-governmental organisations for coming up with initiatives to support the health sector.
With the high prevalence of diabetes and hypertension in Mauritius and the steady increase in the proportion of the elderly as well as cataracts being common among the ageing population, Prime Minister Jugnauth dwelt on Government’s commitment to ensure that cataract surgeries are available to more patients.
On this score, he indicated that the Ophthalmology Unit was launched in January 2015 at the New Souillac Hospital to cater for the large number of patients developing cataracts and to decentralise the services which was only provided at the Subramania Bharati Eye Hospital.
Around 150 to 200 surgeries are carried out weekly at the Subramania Bharati Eye Hospital, he said adding that currently, 80 to 100 cataract surgeries are carried out on a monthly basis at the New Souillac Hospital.
Speaking on the equipment received, Mr Jugnauth emphasised that the Iridex Cyclo G6 laser system will be used for glaucoma patients to reduce ocular tension and the three Bausch + Lomb machines will help to enhance cataract and vitrectomy surgeries.
Government, the Prime Minister stated, is making considerable efforts to leverage technology to build capacity. To this end, he indicated that the Subramania Bharati Eye hospital is equipped with different high tech machines helping to enhance the quality of services.
With regards to other governmental measures, Prime Minister Jugnauth spoke on the Health Sector Strategic Plan 2020-2024 which provides directions for comprehensive set of actions to reengineer the health delivery services.
He also underlined that the healthcare budget 2022/2023 has been increased to Rs 14.7 billion from Rs 13.1 billion last year, including Rs 192 million to kickstart works for the New Eye Hospital at Moka and additional amount of Rs 325 million earmarked for the acquisition of medical equipment.
Public health services, he stated, have upgraded the treatment of patients and have helped in early diagnosis of eye diseases. The aim, he added, is to achieve the best possible outcomes of health care systems while highlighting that Government is continuously improving quality of care and striving for excellence and taking the emerging challenges in stride.
Other initiatives to enhancing the health system include the training provided every year by foreign surgeons with different sub-specialities to local specialists and nursing staff, said the Prime Minister.
He also spoke of the visits of foreign teams to conduct surgeries in Mauritius, including a medical team from New York who performed corneal surgery in February and May 2022, and spring surgeons from India who conducted spring surgeries on children in April 2022.
Twice this year, Mr Jugnauth said, a team from Mauritius comprising one ophthalmologist, one medical officer and two nursing officers visited Rodrigues for major and and minor surgeries on outpatients while adding that every year, an ophthalmologist team visits Rodrigues for two to three months providing these services.
Mr Authelsingh spoke of the commitment of the Rotary Club through various incentives to assist the population. Mr Maheshwarsingh Chakhoor, for his part, dwelt on his commitment behind this project to help people who have been waiting to undergo eye surgeries.
The equipment, amounting to the tune of Rs 14 million, will help to cater for more patients undergoing cataracts, vitrectomy and glaucoma surgeries. Endowed with latest technology, they are pain-free and will enable quick recovery and the patients will able to regain their daily activities in a few days.