Sunday, February 18, 2018
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The Eye National Centre (SNM) identified 2 or 3 cases retinoblastoma (eye tumors)annually and mostly in children under seven years of age.

Eye National Centre (SNM) identified 2 or 3 cases retinoblastoma (eye tumors)annually and mostly in children under seven years of age.

Despite there not being concrete studies on such cases, hospital data shows an increase in such cases according to the head of SNM, Belmerio Jeronimo.
The causes of the disease are unclear but he said genetic factors may be the reason why mostly children are affected.
"We urge parents to take their children to a health facility for treatment and to not wait until it gets worse,” he said from his office in Bidau, Dili.
He said early detection can help saves but surgery to remove the tumors should be performed overseas.
He said after surgery the patient will need further treatment including chemotherapy.
In cases of eye tumors, the eye may be removed and replaced with an artificial eye.
He added eye nurses have been posted at the health centers to refer the more serious cases to the national hospital.
According to the data from 2013-2016, seven children were transferred to undergo eye surgery in Indonesia and in Singapore. Two died due to serious complications.
On the other hand, patient Domingas Fernandes from Viqueque municipality urged the teams at the eye care centers to disseminate more information in the community including in remote areas because many Timorese suffer with eye disease but do not know it.
"Eyes are very important organs. Blindness will limit daily activity,” she said.
She also urged the Ministry of Health to strengthen outreach services across the country for screening, consults, and surgery for eye disease patients.

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