Medical professionals look to MBS for glaucoma stats

By Makeida Antonio
Medical professionals have stated the need to forge a partnership with the Medical Benefits Scheme (MBS) in order to collect data on glaucoma in Antigua & Barbuda.

Ophthalmologist and Medical Director at the Mount St John’s Medical Centre (MSJMC) Dr Alvin Edwards said that the MBS should be one of the main avenues for data since it is the entity that dispenses medication for many patients with glaucoma.

“We can do this research through Medical Benefits Scheme because practically all of our patients with glaucoma get their medication from Medical Benefits Scheme. Medical Benefits helps in one way or the

other so we should be able to get some idea of the statistics in terms of how many people are being treated for glaucoma,” Dr Edwards said yesterday.

The Glaucoma Research Foundation has defined glaucoma as “a complicated disease in which damage to the optic nerve leads to progressive, irreversible vision loss” and indicated that it is the second leading cause of blindness worldwide.

Optometrist Dr Jillia Bird said that many people are still unaware that they may have the eye disease.

“It really is a public health dilemma like which we haven’t seen, [affecting] a great sector of productive workers across all races, just for ignorance.

“It’s a lack of awareness and education because science has outdone itself in handling the group of disorders we call glaucoma, so why are people losing sight still? It is because 50 per cent of people of those who suffer from it are unaware. ( The Daily Observer)

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