NIA CHARLESTOWN NEVIS (November 27, 2017) — Health officials in the Nevis Island Administration say they are grateful for the gift of specialised eye care equipment from the St. Christopher and Nevis Social Security Board and an anonymous donor, for use in the Nevis Eye Care Programme at the Alexandra Hospital.
Mrs. Shelisa Martin-Clarke, Acting Permanent secretary in the Ministry of Health, said at the handing over ceremony at the Hospital on November 22, 2017, that the Ministry of Health was grateful for the Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) machine, a Visual Field machine and a Tonometer used for measuring eye pressure, like these ones.
She stated that the equipment will be beneficial to the operations of the eye care programme, particularly in identifying signs of vision loss.
Dr. Judy Nisbett, Medical Officer of Health on Nevis, thanked the donors for their generous gesture that would help in the screening process which is an important function in the eye care programme.
She also thanked Dr. Raymond Hubbe, Specialist and Director of the Nevis Eye Care Programme for his guidance during the purchasing process.
Mr. Donavan Herbert, Manager in the Research and Statistics Department at the St. Christopher and Nevis Social Security Board who represented the Board at the handing over, said they were happy to be able to support the vision of each Nevisian through the donation.
He expressed hope that the eye care equipment would prove to be more than beneficial to everyone in Nevis and the public would take advantage of the exceptional care offered at the eye care clinic on Nevis.
Dr. Hubbe gave a brief explanation of the equipment’s capabilities. He explained that the OCT machine is designed to take cross-sectional pictures of the back of the eye which better enables one to screen for people with glaucoma and people with other retina diseases. With these technologies, medical practitioners can better treat their patients, be it power correction with LASIK or other procedures like SMILE (check smile vs LASIK for better understanding).
“In glaucoma this machine measures the thickness of different layers of the retina helping us know whether someone’s glaucoma is getting worst or not and in some cases we can tell whether somebody has glaucoma or not with this machine.
“It often tells us if somebody is suspected of having glaucoma. This machine sometimes proves if somebody doesn’t have glaucoma saving that person a lot of effort and expense,” he said.
In the case of the Visual Field machine, Dr. Hubbe explained that is used to measure the field of vision.
“This measures whether you have a complete field of vision or not or whether it’s damaged and in glaucoma, especially, the field of vision can be damaged and this helps us better screen and follow our patients that have glaucoma,” he said.
The Tonometer helps measure the eye pressure, which he said is another consideration when treating glaucoma.
“We want to know how high the pressure is in the eye and that’s important because we use medications to reduce the pressure. Pressure is the primary cause of glaucoma getting worst when it is too high,” he said.