| Visionary effort
Jorhat, Oct. 19: An eye-screening centre will be set up at Majuli on Sunday under a project initiated by the Jorhat-based Phanidhar Bordoloi Memorial Trust to offer free treatment to the people of the island.
Vision Centre is being set up at Kamalabari Chariali, the commercial centre of the island. It will have a team of doctors and supporting staff to examine general ailments of the eye and offer free treatment to the poor.
The centre, which will be opened by the xatradhikar of Auniati Xatra of Majuli, Pitambar Devagoswami, will later have a tele-medicine facility.
The five-year project is being implemented by Chandraprabha Eye Hospital here with funds from the Canada-based NGO, Operation Eyesight Universal.
Narayan Bordoloi, managing trustee of the Trust, who is an ophthalmologist and the medical director of the hospital, told this correspondent that the screening centre would boost the project launched in Majuli early this year to conduct a survey on people suffering from eye diseases. The survey is being done by 20 people (13 women and seven men) recruited and trained by the hospital.
Bordoloi said to facilitate the survey, which is being carried out under the supervision of a project co-ordinator, the island has been divided into 10 clusters. A data entry operator has been appointed to compile the data collected by the group, whose members have been divided into teams of two. They have been provided with bicycles and a small kit.
Bordoloi said once the centre starts functioning, patients with general eye ailments need not visit the hospital. Only those requiring advance treatment would need to go to the hospital. With the telemedicine facility coming up, more cases could be diagnosed from the hospital here, he added.
The trust has plans to open two more screening centres in the island, he said.
The managing trustee said screening camps were being organised in the villages of Majuli for the past few months every Saturday. More than 2,500 people have been examined in 11 camps and provided treatment, including surgeries, he added. He said 325 cataract patients had been operated upon for free by the phacoemulsification method.
“We are offering every kind of treatment — be it surgery or the modern phacoemulsification — to patients suffering from cataract. The cost of treatment, stay and transportation is free for the poor and we will request those who can afford to pay a certain amount,” Bordoloi added.