Imphal: The Japanese government has donated medical equipment worth $65,225 for treatment of eyes to Manipur’s Shija Hospital here on Wednesday.
The equipment was donated through the Embassy of Japan in India under the Grant Assistance for Grassroots Project scheme of the government of Japan to meet the diverse basic human needs in developing countries.
This project, which amounts to approximately 7.1 million Japanese Yen, supports the provision of eye medical equipment for eye disease patients and socio-economically vulnerable local people in Manipur. This project aims to provide quick, quality and affordable eye medical services to the locals, said a statement by the Japanese Embassy.
Shija Foundation, the recipient organization, has been providing eye care services since the establishment of Shija Hospitals and Research Centre in the year 1993 in Imphal West, Manipur.
In 2019, the organization conducted over 2,000 cataract and corneal surgeries along with providing successful treatment to children with eye defects and diseases. However, due to the insufficiency of specialized medical equipment required to diagnose and treat serious eye diseases like Glaucoma and Diabetic Retinopathy, the organization had to refer patients who were unable to access the treatment at the hospital to better-equipped hospitals with decent medical facilities in the neighboring state of Assam.
Constrained to get the treatment in neighboring states posed an added financial burden and challenges of communicating in a state having a different language to already suffering patients.
The provision of eye medical equipment with the support of Japanese GGP Grant will enable the organization to improve the efficiency and availability of eye medical services even to treat diseases like Glaucoma and Diabetic Retinopathy of around 280 patients annually. Furthermore, patients can get eye care services within their state, it noted.
It is estimated that 4 per cent of the total population of Manipur is suffering from diabetes and people suffering from diabetes are at the risk for Diabetic Retinopathy (DR).
The aid assisted the procurement of Glaucoma Laser (used for managing painful blind eye), Visual Field Analyzer (VFA- used for Glaucoma detection), B Scan with UBM (Ultrasound Bio Microscope- used to visualize the structure of eyeball when the media is opaque), and Anterior Segment Optical Coherence Tomography (AS OCT- used to analyse the anterior segment).
These devices are primarily designed to bridge the gap in treatment for Glaucoma and DR, two of the most common causes of blindness and visual impairment in Manipur.
With the installation of these devices, early diagnosis and intervention for glaucoma and DR patients in the state can be targeted and treated, officials said.
The handing over ceremony was attended by Shingo Miyamoto, Minister, Economic and Development, Embassy of Japan in India, Ryuhei Nishi, First Secretary, Embassy of Japan in India, and Babita, Project Coordinator, GGP, and officials of the Shija Hospital.
Minister Miyamoto, speaking on the occasion, expressed hopes that these equipment will contribute in improving the lives of common people in Manipur.
Shija Foundation also expressed its heartfelt gratitude to the people of Japan for their generous assistance to the people of Manipur.