St Kitts and Nevis (WINN): The federation is observing World Glaucoma Week during March 12-18 this year, under the theme, “B.I.G – Beat Invisible Glaucoma.”
Glaucoma is a significant health issue in St. Kitts and Nevis, with 1,334 registered cases of glaucoma present in our medical institutions.
Minister of Health, Wendy Phipps, gave an official address to launch World Glaucoma Week, discussing the impact the disease has on a global scale.
“Glaucoma is also ranked as the 2nd most common cause of blindness globally, with cataracts being deemed the leading cause. Some 6 million persons in the world are blind as a result of glaucoma. This translates in the statistic that just over 12% of all blindness in the world is as a result of glaucoma. By the year 2020, it is expected that some 11.2 million persons would have been diagnosed with glaucoma.”
She also revealed the activities planned to commemorate World Glaucoma Week in St. Kitts and Nevis.
“Quite a number of activities have been planned to mark the observance of World Glaucoma Week in St. Kitts and Nevis. These include the following: Tuesday, March 14th – Glaucoma Video and Lecture Presentation at the Eye Clinic at JNF General Hospital Wednesday, March 15th – (a) Lecture discussion at 9:00 a.m. by Ms Juletta Fyfield on “Living with Glaucoma”; and (b) Visit to the Cardin Home 5 | P a g e Thursday, March 16th – Glaucoma Awareness Walk from Best Buy Supermarket, through the Roundabout at Camps, and east along the FT Williams Highway towards the RL Bradshaw International Airport, starting at 4:30 p.m. Friday, March 17th – Glaucoma Awareness T-shirt Day with Clinic as per Established Schedule at the JNF General Hospital”
According to Phipps, it is important that the federation celebrate World Glaucoma Week, and be mindful of the disease.
“We must all be reminded of the need to preserve our vision, to police our health, and not take our eyesight for granted. In this way, we would be a healthier Nation with our people living more industrious, productive and independent lives for longer periods of time. The Ministries also urge everyone to get regular vision checks in order to increase our chances of preserving our vision for as long as possible.”
Glaucoma is defined by the World Health Organization as a group of diseases that impact eyesight by damaging the optic nerve through the disruption of the eye’s natural drainage system. If left untreated, glaucoma can impair vision and eventually cause blindness.