Over 300 patients to undergo eye surgery in Jonglei

By Manyuon Mayen Manyuon
At least 300 individuals will undergo eye surgery in Bor town of Jonglei State next week, according to a US based organization.
The eye camp will run for a week at Bor’s Memorial Christian Hospital (BMCH) under the auspice of Compassionate Care (PCC), a South Sudanese US based organization.
Mr. Deng Ajak Jongkuch, Executive Director of PCC told Juba Monitor on phone from Washington DC yesterday that the exercise will focus on cataract and trachoma surgeries for 300 patients.
“We are targeting people with eye issues. Those who cannot see properly are our targets especially those with cataract and trachoma. These are two groups which we are focusing on during the exercise in Bor,” Mr. Jongkuch explained.
Mr. Jongkuch added that the exercise that will commence next Monday will run until 30th of this month where they will test and operate on the patients.
He pointed out that they embarked on eye surgeries since most humanitarian agencies operating in South Sudan are only focusing on emergency needs.
“Everything in South Sudan right now is on emergency plan and humanitarian services rather than on health issues like cataract surgeries and other things that are not considered in the emergencies,” said Mr. Jongkuch.

He said that though eye surgeries were neglected by most humanitarian organizations in South Sudan, it was fundamental for them to intervene in correcting such issues.

In 2010 and November 2018, Compassionate Care (PCC) operated 393 people that got their sights back.

He said that it was due to lack of funds that they didn’t do more operations in the previous years.

“We didn’t have enough funds by then. So I came back to the US and raised more funds and now we have enough funds to do more operations on 18th this month,” he said.

According to Mr. Jongkuch, majority of people affected by trachoma and cataract diseases were women, saying that there was need to do more since the number was increasing every day.

“We felt that these people should be helped. They are at homes and they cannot help themselves. This simple thing can be done for them to become productive in the communities,” Mr. Jongkuch said.

“For a blind person, it takes another person to take care of him/her, so in that regard two people can’t be less productive and so we took that initiative to relieve them and support those families respectively,” he added.

He appealed to the humanitarian agencies and partners not to only concentrate on emergencies but also focus on health issues in the country.

“It is not emergency things that people want only. Let us believe in what people need. If we think of emergency, we will not do anything. We have to focus on the things that can make impact on the lives of the civil population in South Sudan,” he stressed.

He stated that they were putting measures to establish permanent eye clinic in Bor through South Sudan Ministry of Health.

Jongkuch encouraged everyone to take people with eye problems to Bor’s Memorial Christian Hospital for treatment.

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