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Australian Indigenous HealthBulletin
 

Bid to boost cataract surgery for Indigenous people

Prompt treatment for those affected by cataracts isn't always the case, especially for Indigenous Australians. The Fred Hollows Foundation says Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders are 12 times more likely to develop cataracts that results in blindness, while surgery rates are seven times lower than the national average. The Fred Hollows Foundation says it's crucial that people have regular eye checks, something Indigenous Australians are less likely to do.

Alexander Dennis, a resident of the NSW town of Walgett, was one of 30 Indigenous patients to recently have cataract surgery at Bourke Hospital in outback NSW. His surgery was performed as part of a pilot program run by the Outback eye service, The Fred Hollows Foundation, and funded by the NSW Department of Health. He described the impact of the surgery on the Foundation's website.

'The doctors told me that I need to go get the cataracts off my eyes because it was very hard for me to see. I couldn't drive, I couldn't cook which is terrible because I like cooking. When I took my pad off my eye it was magic. I'm getting teary. I saw my wife, first. I just wanted to see her beautiful face and colours I could see the colours, green trees it was pretty amazing.'

Source: SBS news

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Last updated: 11 March 2014
 
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