News Release

Maluti Vision Care Fights GLacoma and Other Eye Diseases With Donation of New Machines.

The Maluti Adventist Hospital in Mapoteng, Lesotho has one of the finest eye care facilities in the country and has just become even better with the addition of eye care machines donated by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

Ophthalmologist, Dr. Carlos Gutierrez is a retina specialist diagnosing and treating the two largest contributors to blindness in the world. In a ceremony on February 8th,  he and Thabang Pulumo - Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Rodriquez - Medical Director, along with the hospital staff accepted a donation of much needed vision equipment in a handover ceremony by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

The first two vision care pieces of equipment are used in the fight against glaucoma.  The OCT (optical coherence tomography) machine is used to check the health of the retina and nerves by obtaining detailed images. The OCT machine “is a brilliant diagnostic tool, especially for retina patients,” explained Dr. Gutierrez, “This is one of the latest ocular machines to help optholmogostists to examine patients, but it is really the retinologist who will enjoy the use of this machine, because most of the patients who have retinal problems can be diagnosed more accurately.” 

The second piece of equipment was the optical tonometer which checks the pressure of the eye and can detect the earliest signs of glaucoma. The third piece was a Portable Autorefractor which will in seconds provide a very close measurement of a person's prescription for glasses.  The eye specialists can then fine-tune the prescription to exactly fit the patient’s needs.

Dr. Rodriquez welcomed the hospital staff and a delegation from the Church, led by Elder and Sister Eggett of the Southeast Area Humanitarian Services.  Dr. Rodriquez expressed his appreciation for the kind donation saying, “We are all of the family of Jesus Christ.”  He talked about how Jesus walked the earth healing the blind with his touch.  By using this equipment we are carrying on his work.  He also explained that through compassion for others we are living a Christ-like life. 

Mr. Pulumo explained that vision issues and medical costs have been rising over the last forty years.  The new equipment will lower the costs for examinations and treatments making these services more affordable. 

Because of transportation issues for many of the people, the hospital is providing medical personnel with training on how to use the portable vision care equipment. These trainees, known as ‘cataract finders,’ then travel to all parts of the country in search of those in need of vision care. Lowering the costs of examinations and treatments so that all residents can afford the level of care needed is a high priority for the hospital.  He indicated that costs have already dropped and will continue to decline.

Sister Eggett commented on how working with the hospital staff was a wonderful experience and thanked them for their service in Lesotho. Elder Eggett said, “Maluti Hospital has one of the best programs in the area.” He also reflected on the Savior’s life and his example of caring for the poor and needy.  “The needs never end.”




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