The medical caravan project of the Anouar Association for the community of Ait Faska is being held on February 7 to 9, 2020, at the Community Center of Ait Faska.
The Anouar Association presents this program that aims to treat all the residents suffering from cataracts and ocular pathologies in collaboration with the Moroccan Medical Association of Solidarity as well as the Ministry of Health, local authorities, and the Moroccan Red Crescent. This operation aims to provide free cataract surgery to residents of Ait Faska.
This humanitarian program consists of specialists, nurses, health representatives, and volunteers from the Association, they are working together to provide cataract surgery for the benefit of the residents. The program aims to fight health inequalities and facilitate access to healthcare for the disadvantaged community of Ait Faska.
This medico-social campaign takes care of more than hundreds of cataract patients from the region of Ait Faska and its surroundings, and the patients receive free medical and surgical treatment provided by the specialist practitioners as well as the volunteers and members of the Anouar Association.
Mr. Mohamed dekkak, President of the Anouar Association, affirmed that the population of the Aït Faska region suffer from cataracts. He also stressed in this regard that the Association, in coordination with the Moroccan Medical Association for Solidarity, will work for the success of this medical caravan program, allowing the vast number of people affected by this illness to benefit from it for the whole duration of the program.
Eye diseases are still a major source of suffering and disability worldwide, particularly in developing countries. In Morocco, significant progress has been made in preventing, controlling, and even eliminating certain eye diseases such as cataracts, constituting public health problems.
What is Cataract?
The cataract is the clouding of the lens. The lens is a converging lens located behind the iris. Its diameter is approximately 1 cm and its thickness 0.5 cm. Cataracts most often occur with age from 60 years, it affects more than one in five people from 65 years, more than one in three from 75 years and almost two in three after 85 years, it causes a gradual decrease in eyesight, and if no treatment is undertaken, the cataract can progress to blindness. The only effective treatment for cataracts is surgery.
What are the risks of such an intervention? Can we prevent cataracts? Can the sun or working on a computer promote the onset of the disease?
The fight against cataracts is one of the priorities of the World Health Organization through the Global Initiative “Vision 2020: the right to sight”, which aims to eliminate the preventable causes of blindness from here the year 2020 and the establishment of an integrated care framework allowing all populations to have a better vision and consequently the improvement of their living conditions.
Cataracts are the leading cause of preventable blindness in Morocco (around 50% of all causes). It is, therefore, clearly identified as the number 1 public enemy concerning eye health problems.
A disease of aging
A cataract is the clouding of the lens, a lens placed inside the eye behind the pupil, through which light passes. In the normal state, the lens is transparent and allows the image to be focused on the retina: this is the phenomenon of accommodation. Around the age of 40, he lost this property, which led to presbyopia (difficulty reading closely). The clouding of the lens creates a blurred vision. A cataract is a disease of aging; it generally affects people over the age of 65 and remains the third cause of blindness if nothing is done. However, there is also another kind of cataract, known as secondary, which is linked, for example, to diabetes, trauma to the eye, or certain infectious diseases in young children in particular.
What are the signs of cataracts?
Essentially a gradual decrease in far vision that cannot be corrected with corrective lenses, near vision remaining possible for a long time.
Other evocative clinical signs exist: the person is embarrassed by dazzle, which occurs regularly in the evening, the light of the bulbs, or even the headlights of the car.
The examination of the lens with a slit lamp makes the diagnosis and specifies the type of cataract. The diagnosis is, therefore, clinical. The only treatment is surgery. It consists of removing the lens that has become opaque and replacing it with an implant.
Figures that challenge
Concerning the new cases of cataract registered each year in Morocco, we have retained the figures which were presented during the first national congress of implantology and refractive surgery held in Casablanca in 2006. It appears that nearly 50,000 new cases of Cataracts are recorded each year in Morocco for a total population estimated at 30 million inhabitants, while 500,000 Moroccans suffering from this disease are waiting to undergo surgery.
Modern cataract surgery
The intervention consists of removing the opaque lens and replacing it with an artificial lens that takes place in the envelope of the lens partially left in place during the intervention (extra-capsular extraction). This intervention is very developed, is done under contact or local anesthesia. It lasts about ten minutes, is painless, and the view returns quickly.
The intervention is most often done without hospitalization. The implant can be multi-focal, allowing correct vision from near and far.
This modern surgery is practiced in both the public and private sectors. As for the costs of treatment, the price of surgery to treat a cataract varies between 6000 to 9000 dhs. It is important to note that the Ministry of Health has made considerable efforts, during the last 4 or 5 years, by equipping public ophthalmology care establishments with around thirty machines.
The Anouar Association’s action
The management of cataracts poses many problems, including those relating to the neediness of many patients. Many patients end up losing their sight due to a lack of time management. Aware of all these tragedies, Anouar Association mobilizes alongside the Moroccan Medical Association of Solidarity as well as the Ministry of Health, local authorities, and the Moroccan Red Crescent to organize the cataract campaign in Ait Faska region.