Wednesday, February 1

Indian-Born Ophthalmologist Commits to provide affordable eye care services to Gambians

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By Musa S. Sheriff

An Indian-born ophthalmologist who arrived in the Gambia year back has vowed to address the growing eye problems the country is facing by providing affordable eye care services to every Gambian.

In this edition of our publication, our editor sat down with him to share his experience and a wide range of issues

My name is Optom.Muhammed.M.Alam, is an Indian by birth and is an eye specialist. I studied at U.P State Medical Faculty, Lucknow India, and NIMS University formerly the National Institute of Medical Sciences in Jaipur, India. My qualifications are I.SC.D.R.OPT, B.Opt.M.Opt. I am also a member of the IOA Indian optometric Association & WCO world council of optometry and APCO Asia Pacific council of optometry.  I have over 10 years of experience as an eye specialist working in Africa and India.

Tell us about your work in your own country before coming to Africa.

Muhammed: In 2010 I started working with Dr. Agarwal eye hospital in India for two years before I got promoted and worked in some parts of South and Eastern Africa, countries like Mauritius, Seychelles, and Madagascar before finally moving to Zambia and other African countries in 2015.

Which African country did you start working in before coming to the Gambia?

Muhammed:The first African country I started working in was Mauritius which was in 2010.

Many eye diseases are affecting many people globally and many are not aware of or know the causes, could you tell us some of these diseases affecting many elderly and young ones as well?  

Muhammed: There are hundreds of different eye diseases and vision problems. Some have no cure, but many others are treatable. You can assist in your eye health by following a healthy lifestyle and seeing your eye care professional regularly and any time your vision changes. Eye diseases like Refractive error myopia, hypermetropia, and Astigmatism.

Cataracts, Pterygium, Cornea ulcer, conjunctivitis, etc. are the most common eye problems affecting millions globally.

 What do you do at I-care Optics in the Gambia?

Muhammed: Since I-Care optics Ltd started operation in the  Gambia in  June 2021 at London Corner, Safdeen junction, Serekunda,  we are offering an international standard optician service, comprehensive eye examination that includes auto-refractometer to refine refractive errors; non-contact tonometer for eye pressure; visual activity test to find out the distance, near and intermediate vision; refraction assessments to determine prescriptions for glasses and contact lenses; Ichihara’s test for color blindness; duo-chrome rest, jacks on the cross-cylinder and pinhole tests and slit-lamp retinoscopy and ophthalmoscope examinations with USA 90 D lenses. We also provide medicine and eyeglasses within 20 minutes and a maximum of two weeks. The motto of the company is Easy access to I care, Quantity product, and affordable price.

Vision “Eyes are the most beautiful part of the body, we will help you to protect it”. Our mission is to provide clear vision with the best eye care facilities and the latest available technology & equipment. I-Care optics Ltd also offers a wide range of high-quality optical products including designer frames such as Gucci, CK, Emporio Armani, Lexis, Guess, Tom Ford, Prada, Vogue, Titanium, Boss, Dior, Police, Tommy Hilfiger, D&G, among others. Both frames and lenses are priced to accommodate different kinds of budgets.

Lenses are available in plastic, glass, and polycarbonate.

With us, spectacles will be in your hand in just 20 minutes.

 Eye problems are becoming common in The Gambia and what are the causes? 

Muhammed: Eye problems are common in the Gambia like Refractive errors

Cornea ulcer, dry eye, allergic conjunctivitis Cataract. The causes are lack of awareness and heavy sunlight and dust. People are not willing to check their eyes once a year even if they don’t like and don’t want to wear glasses after the advice from the Dr. also. And they run to the Dr. Once their eye problems become more complicated and in the end, they lose their eyesight, so we need to do regular check-ups at least once a year and protect the eyes from dust and sunlight.

What are the most common eye problems in this country?

Muhammed: The problems are many but just to name a few, cataract, cornea, and retina management are the most common problems in the Gambia.

And finally, tell us about your new plan for the Gambia.

Muhammed: My new plan for the Gambia is to make I-care easy access, affordable, and quantity eye care service for all. Eye care for All, Everyone deserves the best eye care service under one roof.  We are opening our head office at Handoon court, former dream park Senegambia on Wednesday 7th December 2022.