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Eye surgeons rushed in to help pellet victims in Kashmir

By Newsd
Updated on :
Centre rushes eye surgeons to help pellet victims. (Indian Express)

The Ministry of Health on Wednesday sent a high-level team of eye surgeons to Jammu and Kashmir where over 100 youth are in danger of losing their eyesight after suffering from pellet injuries during protests over the encounter of Hizbul commander Burhan Wani.

A three-member team of eye specialists from AIIMS, New Delhi will tackle the spiraling number of people with pellet injuries and assist the state in providing medical care to the injured in the state.

Till now about 37 people have died and hundreds injured in the clashes between residents and security forces during protest in South Kashmir. The team reached the state on Wednesday after the J&K chief minister Mehbooba Mufti spoke to health minister JP Nadda Wednesday morning requesting him to send a team of specialists, most importantly, retina surgeons, to take care of the injured. Nadda assured her of complete support to the state and also said that the government was also facilitating the shifting of injured persons outside the State, for treatment not available locally.

Over 100 patients with pellet injuries in eyes have been admitted in Srinagar’s SMHS hospital in last four days, a doctor said. For the past one week, hospitals in Srinagar are facing staggering number of patients and most of them, apart from eye injuries have injuries to vital organs above the waist.  “The fact that patients have bullet and pellet injuries above the waist speaks volumes,” said president of Doctors Association Kashmir (DAK) Dr. Nisar Ul Hassan Malik. He stressed the need for specialists, especially trauma specialists in the peripheries of South Kashmir rather than just Srinagar.

The hospitals are also facing lack of eye drops and other medicines as all medical shops have been shut due to the curfew being imposed.

16-year-old-Hamid-3-copyA doctor from the SMHS hospital in Srinagar has said that most of the patients have suffered severe damages in their eyes due to pellets. “These patients will regain their vision but they will have a problem in their eyesight. A doctor said 87 patients have been operated on in the hospital in last three days.  “Of them, we have discharged 47 patients while others are still undergoing treatment,” he said.

Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah also raised the issue in a series of tweet to Prime Minister Modi. He wrote, “Hon @narendramodi ji. After Kerala fire you carried a plane load of burn specialists with you. Please send eye/trauma specialists to Kashmir. The injured include security forces persons and young boys who risk losing their sight forever. This is the time to reach out with a healing touch.”