Maniapure Health Days 2022 - Ophthalmic specialists & general medicine
2022 MANIAPURE HEALTH CARE DAYS: OVER 600 PATIENTS!
The ADSManiapure team and local allies provided free specialist health care to more than 600 people as part of the XV Maniapure Health Care Days at La Milagrosa Health Center in Bolivar State from November 27th to December 2nd 2022.
Once again, I Love Venezuela Sweden has allocated the majority of its funds, 75% during 2022, to support our Project Partner ADSManiapure and their yearly project Maniapure Health Care Days. This project brings specialist health care to the vulnerable community of Maniapure every year and I Love Venezuela Sweden has financed this initiative for the third year in a row, following outstanding results during the previous years. Our Project Partner has a track record of having carried out this program for 15 years in collaboration with local partners and volunteers.
The Maniapure Health Care Days 2022 had a focus on bringing specialist health care in the area of ophthalmology. A medical speciality which is in great demand in the region but to which the local population has historically had limited or nonexistent access to. Three former general practitioners were also present during the Health Days to reinforce the team providing general medical care. The Health Care Days were also possible thanks to the local health team currently working in Maniapure such as rural doctors, nursing and pharmacy staff, interns in their last year of medical school, and volunteers.
As it has been the case during the last years, the local team continues to work under extremely harsh conditions to make this important event happen. The constraints imposed during the pandemic such as safety protocols, country-specific challenges such as hyperinflation and an ever more dollarized economy, have led the team to change the format of the event in order to adapt to this situation whilst continuing to provide access to specialist care to the vulnerable population, minimizing risks and making an effective use of the resources.
For this aim, the team has resumed its collaboration with their local ally Maniapure Foundation, they have together planned the event meticulously and worked with a given focus on medical needs per event. The result is that despite the number of medical specialists being much lesser, the team was still able to attend to over 800 patients in only five days. Outstanding results!
Besides, this new format, which has been in place since 2021, has allowed more time for each consultation where patient-tailored information and educational resources are also provided.
The results of these efforts translated into the attention of a total of 657 specialized and general medicine consultations as follows:
- 376 of ophthalmic patients who received timely and free treatment delivery.
- 17 minor eye/ophthalmic surgical procedures.
- 281 general medicine consultations.
Besides, a total of 400 pairs of preformulated eyeglasses were distributed among the patients thanks to the kind donations of Optica Caroní.
OPHTHALMIC HEALTH CARE
In the last Health Care Days a total of 376 specialized ophthalmic consultations were carried out, 53% of patients were male and 71% of creole ethnicity. The age groups most represented in the consultations were between 19-60 years, followed by adults over the age of 60, the majority of which were men.
Historically, ophthalmic health care services have been one of the most demanded during ADSManiapures yealry Health Days. The local population of Maniapure is continually under high exposure to sunlight, and develop as a consequence a series of ophthalmologic conditions such as cataract or pterygium, which require minor surgical interventions with the potential of high percentages of recovered optimal vision within a few months of the surgery.
Globally, cataracts are the number one cause of preventable blindness, with an estimated 20 million people blinded by the condition. Cataracts and pterygium are amongt the main causes of blindness in developing countries where about 90% of blind persons or people with low vision live. There is a well-established relationship between poverty and blindness, and in developing countries people have a tenth fold increase in their risk of going blind compared to industrialized countries.
In conclusion, facilitating access to improved and specialized health services, with the opportunity to benefit from a surgical procedure for the correction of specific pathologies, improves the quality of life of the Maniapure's families and inhabitants.
A total of 17 minor ophthalmic surgical procedures were also carried out during the Health Days. The patients selected for the procedures had been diagnosed with Pterygium, which is associated with chronic sun exposure and specifically to ultraviolet (UV) light, a condition prevalent in Maniapure.
DONATION OF PREFORMULATED EYEGLASSES
As part of the Health Days and thanks to the kind donation of the local optical company Óptica Caroní, a total of 400 eyeglasses were donated to patients. Of these, 82 were preformulated eyeglasses for patients with decreased visual acuity who were screened for refractive errors. The distribution of the preformulated eyeglasses was individualized as to attend to specific patient needs for each patient.
PRIMARY HEALTH CARE
280 general medicine consultations
As expected, the general consultation for attention to prioritized national health programs had a greater influx of patients. These consultations were in charge of the team of rural doctors and medical interns, with the support of the medical coordination team of the Maniapure Foundation, in order to guarantee access to health services for all people.
Thanks for your support! Together we make these results possible.
I Love Venezuela Sweden Board.