By William Ysaguirre
Hundreds of Belizeans received free medical care for their eyes, ears, nose, throat and kidney problems this week, from a visiting team of three doctors and three nurses from the Far Eastern Memorial Hospital (FEMH) in Taiwan
The team visited Belize from Monday to Thursday, October 5-8.
Kidney specialist Dr. Hung-Yuan Chen and his assistant nurse, Ms. Chao-Tzu Ko held clinic for patients with kidney problems in the Emergency wing of the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital.
Dr. Chen said early diagnosis is important as kidney disease often accompanies diabetes, and it is important to begin treatment as early as possible, before the kidney becomes so damaged that dialysis is the only remaining option.
He said it is important for diabetes patients to manage their condition through proper medication to avoid damage to the kidneys. In its advanced stage diabetes also affects the eyes, which is why an ophthalmologist has accompanied the team.
He said it was the rising incidence of diabetes in Belize, which had prompted them to offer their services, which is free, to Belizeans.
Dr. Shu-Wen Chang, an Ophthalmologist who provided eye treatment, noted that there were many medicines which they had prescribed which they found had apparently not yet been introduced to Belize as they were unavailable at the K.H.M.H.
She said they would take this information under advisement so that future medical teams may come equipped with the medication they came to treat.
Dr. Chia-Hung Chen and his assistant nurse, Peu-Lin Chen, saw patients with ailments of ears, nose or throat; also at the KHMH out-patient wing. He noted the importance of cleaning the ears regularly, as dirt can accumulate and attach itself to the naturally produced wax in one’s ears, and may become painfully infected if not periodically cleaned out.
Patients with sinus problems may also suffer from infections passing from their nose to their inner ear through their inner cavities, and so this was something to watch for.