The Ophthalmologist (Eye Surgeon) visited St Helena between 19 and 29 March 2019. This was the first of two visits scheduled for this year.
This initial two-week visit was a scoping one for the Ophthalmologist to assess the current set-up on St Helena and review the Health Directorate's available equipment to advise on what is required to take the service forward on the Island. Some patients were also seen during this visit. The second visit will be the normal four-week one scheduled for later in the year and will be for patients needing eye surgery.
An initial scoping visit was included in this year's Health Directorate's Strategic Plan to ensure that the service has the essential equipment in place before the full four-week visit takes place later in the year. The Health Directorate will now look to acquire the recommended equipment before that visit takes place.
Acting Director of Health, Helen Lawrence, explains:
Whilst the Health Directorate does have a limited amount of equipment, the Ophthalmologist who has been visiting the Island over recent years brought a variety of his own equipment with him on visits (none of this belonged to the Health Service). We need to be in a position where we are not reliant on an individual but are equipped to provide this service to a good standard on-Island and where any ophthalmologist can arrive here to work and we have the essential equipment they would need.
Source: St Helena Government