Glaucoma patients to receive free eye medication


Consultant ophthalmologist, Dr. Hazel Shillingford Ricketts has announced that from this year, the government will be giving patients who suffer from glaucoma, free eye medication.

This week is celebrated worldwide as Glaucoma Week and Thursday, March 14, as Glaucoma Day.

Dr. Ricketts said patients have to be 60 years and older in order to receive the free medication.

“Early last year the Ministry of Health took a decision to provide all the glaucoma eye drops free of charge to patients 60 years and older and our patients have been very grateful and happy about that,” she said

“More than a decade now that I have applied to the drug store…making pleas on behalf of the patients to get their medication free of charge and finally…that application was reviewed and successfully adopted…” Dr. Ricketts revealed.

She said because of this initiative the risk of patients going blind is minimized.

According to the ophthalmologist, glaucoma is a painless progressive disease that affects the nerve of the eye and causes loss of vision primarily, the peripheral vision.

She said one does not know if it’s happening until it is too advanced and advised that when persons reach the ages of 35-40, regular eye check-ups should be done as there is no cure for this disease which is the leading cause of irreversible blindness.

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  1. Man bites dogs
    March 16, 2019

    @ Francisco, Negative Negative Negative sing a song for sixpence. Francisco you only jealous of Prime minister Dr Skerrit achievement or perceived advantages. And your man Linton do not have any of that and never will he have because he is not blessed with power.

    • Francisco Etienne-Dods Telemaque
      March 17, 2019

      Jealous of who, and  what?

      Man-dog, when I go to sleep at night, with my good and clean conscience; free from obtaining anything I possess from corruption, and corrupted activities.

      Within  minutes I go into Rem Sleep; and dream peacefully, not worrying if some Law entity will be waiting outside of my door to take me into custody for something I thief okay!

      I sleep without a care in this world: next day I wake up and proceed with my happy carefree life!

       For your only education Mr. Dog!



      REM sleep is a period of sleep during which dreaming takes place, characterized by rapid periodic twitching movements of the eye muscles and other physiological changes, such as accelerated respiration and heart rate, increased brain activity, and muscle relaxation!

      So, you see even when I am in deep sleep my brain is at work pulsating developing my knowledge even, programing itself how to prevent me from becoming a…

  2. Nrt
    March 16, 2019

    The headline is kinda deceiving. Could’av avoided a lot of confusion by simply adding 2 words “over sixty” moat readers would’av got it already. :?:

  3. Man bites dogs
    March 16, 2019

    The idea is to see what so-called Workers clowns 🤡 party stand For…Nothing!!!!

  4. Francisco Etienne-Dods Telemaque
    March 15, 2019


    There may be some hazy vision, and mild discomfort in the eye, and later there is a barley noticed loss of peripheral vision.

    As the  disease progresses there is reduced visual acuity and greatly increased intraocular pressure that can cause the appearance of colored rings, or halos around bright objects.

    Another form of adult primary glaucoma is angle closure glaucoma, which is term narrow angle glaucoma, which can be either acute, or chronic.

    In this type of glaucoma the chamber angle is narrowed, or completely closed because of forward displacement of the final roll, and root of the iris against the cornea. This  closure obstructs the flow of aqueous humor from the eyeball, and permits a buildup of pressure.

    Now as for you that no name pieces of garbage “ds” nobody, I was not born in a ghetto  in Dominica, I was born a privileged child in the village of Wesley, never want of anything!

    If you are knowledgeable as this ghetto boy here write something…

  5. Francisco Etienne-Dods Telemaque
    March 15, 2019

    The normal eye is filled with aqueous humor in an amount carefully regulated to maintain the shape of the eyeball.

    In glaucoma, the balance of this fluid is disturbed; fluid is formed more rapidly than it leave the eye, and pressure builds up: the increase pressure damages the retina; hence affecting the vision; i.e., the loss of side vision.

    If not relieved by proper treatment, the pressure will eventually damage the optic nerve, interrupting the flow of impulses, and cause blindness.

    Glaucoma can be divided into three major types; which are:

    .Adult Primary Glaucoma.

    Secondary Glaucoma.

    Congenital Glaucoma.

    The most common type of adult primary glaucoma is open angle glaucoma, in which there are open  chamber angles; nevertheless, there is  resistance to the outward flow of aqueous humor.

    This type of  glaucoma, also called simple glaucoma is  characterized by very few symptoms  in early stages; thus many people have the disease without knowing it.


  6. unkown
    March 15, 2019

    The post reads Consultant ophthalmologist, Dr. Hazel Shillingford Ricketts has announced that from this year, the GOVERNMENT will be giving patients who suffer from glaucoma, free eye medication. THANKS to the government for offering that service. No where else in the WORLD does that. Some Dominicans fail to realize the good that is being done by the government. yet still they call the PM Lazy.

    • Annabelle
      March 15, 2019

      Wow, you’ve got an overdose of that red KoolAid. I don’t understand how some people come on here and broadcast this Skerrit propaganda day in day out. Are they blind, are they deaf, are they retarded or possibly all three????

        March 15, 2019

        Annabelle, you UWPites really have a serious problem. All you ALL do is critize. Why can’t you people give credit when credit is due? Who is giving the free medication? Isn’t it the government that is doing so? Why ALL that hatred towards one man? UWPites take their own problem and blame Skerrit or the government for that. For example, Some UWPites have a problem with BLASTING, that Mr. Malaprop from St. JOSEPH calling Matt Talk On The Block because he, BLASTING is not giving another UWPite caller a chance to call. They are blaming Labour for that saying is Labourites that causing that.

    • UKDominican
      March 15, 2019

      This is simply not true. In the U.K. the National Health Service has been providing medical services free of charge since 1948 to the entire population, regardless of age. Medicines are entirely free for the over 60’s. And note, it is not even a socialist country in the Cuban, Russian or Venezuelan mode.

    • Francisco Etienne-Dds Telemaque
      March 15, 2019

      Shut up unknown: for you information free medicine, and medical attention are given all over world; that is built into their medical system.

      The people who are able to pay; pay for their medical attention, and medication, those who are unable to pay their medical system pays.

      In America, Medicare Medical pays such bills.

      In England they  have Universal Care.

      Nobody are told they have to be a certain age to get free medication.

      I was in Canada sometime ago riding on a Buss with my cousin; I got sick, we got off the buss, and went into a government operated clinic where I visited with a doctor.

      At the end of the visit, I ask him how much I owe?

      He told me to speak with the lady at the desk, who informed me I owed nothing; so shut up okay!

      Only in Dominica what?

      That is the lie Skerrit put in your head! Nobody beg for medical attention and treatment in the develop world!

  7. Neville
    March 15, 2019

    What a generous government we have… in particular when elections are on the horizon. I hope Dominicans won’t allow Skerrit to fool them any longer. Skerrit has to go. He has ruined Dominica and he has poisoned Dominica’s society with division!

    • March 15, 2019

      Do you have a home for him? You want him to go, Mr. Miserables.

      • Neville
        March 16, 2019

        Yes, I do. Stockfarm for life.

      • Pipo
        March 17, 2019

        No, Stock farm too close for comfort. Put him on Bird Island instead.

  8. Mother
    March 15, 2019

    Thank you good Doctor, your efforts have born fruit. I know you are a caring person. May God bless you.

  9. Francisco Etienne-Dods Telemaque
    March 15, 2019


    The cause of glaucoma is unknown, nevertheless; there is a hereditary tendency causing complete families to develop the most common forms of glaucoma:

    If it runs in a family, that  means it is hereditary, and could strike any progeny, or siblings in that particular family  at any age below forty (40) years of age.

    So, my question to you Hazel, what would you do in your practice  if you happen to discover glaucoma in someone age nineteen years old, who do not have the financial resources to pay for his/her medication to treat the disease with no cure;  however, treatable?

    Would you refuse issuing free medication to the person below 60 years old depriving them the privilege of getting the medication which will prolong their vision (eyesight) or would you allow  them to go blind?

    Government gives free house, to their supporters, and free millions too, to corrupted crooks in the name of building hotels.

    By the same token holds back medication from the poor! 

  10. Francisco Etienne-Dods Telemaque
    March 15, 2019

    Hazel, I respect you in a sense because I know you are quite capable where it pertains to treatment of the eye.

    Nevertheless; I think the idea of issuing medication to people sixty years and older only might be a form of discrimination:

    That may sound harsh or actually out of context; however,  since glaucoma is a group of diseases of the eye, characterized by increased intraocular  pressure, resulting in pathological changes in the optic disks, and  typical visual field defects, and eventually blindness if it is not successfully treated.

    It is  a know fact that glauco’matous (glaucoma) is responsible for more than twelve (12%) percent of all cases of blindness, and strikes more than two (2%) per  cent of all those over forty (40) years of age.

    Although, it rarely occurs in  anyone under forty years of age; what happens to those patients affected between 40 and 60 years old; although it is seldom found in patients under forty, I know people in their twenty’s with…

    • March 15, 2019

      Get a real life. You are too critical and negative of everything in Skerrit’s name. Did you learn anything good from your parents when you were a little boy. I take it you grew up in the ghetto in Dominica.

      • Francisco Etienne-Dods Telemaque
        March 15, 2019

        “Did you learn anything good from your parents when you were a little boy. ” ( A Nobody).

        If is because I learned plenty from my parents prior to even attending school why I am now a very academically educated and very successful man, who knows what I am talking about!

         If you were not a shallow person not capable of understanding, you would not have written the crap you wrote. 

        I have a medical background, and knows how progressive glaucoma can get. 

        It can be very aggressive, one could be diagnosed today, and in less than a week they are completely blind as a result of the disease!

        So, for one to suggest only people age 60; and over will get free medication: to me is a form of discrimination; whereas the disease is not into age discrimination.

        If you are 42, and diagnose with the disease, and can’t pay for immediate treatment, where will your vision be by age 60?

        You see how dumb you are!

        Am-Critical, not stupid! 

  11. DaPossieMasse
    March 14, 2019

    This is very good to hear, but how long would this service last? And why are young people not a part of this program? Do they have to wait until they are sixty years old to the point that their eye problem deteriorate, and then, only then can they be treated. I believe the Government would save more money if they engage in prevention medication. Will this program end after election? This is very suspicious since the Government is only now involved in sponsoring a program the doctor has been requesting for such a long time. Is this another rum and chicken election gimmick employed by Skerrit, just before an election? This seems to be just another political Red Clinic.. Look out for more of these before election episodes, and will they just fade away like the barbecue chicken and rum give away in Glandvilla and Ian has since disappeared.

  12. Red Eyes
    March 14, 2019

    Before those churches especially those Pentecostals would bring down Eye doctors, as part of their Missionary outreach and they would go in different parts of the country to treat patients with glaucoma and eye disease for free and regardless of age but the DLP stopped them. I guess they wanted to use that to see if they could buy some votes. But it is our passport money that paying for that and therefore it not free .

  13. I was blind but now I C
    March 14, 2019

    Those blind followers of the Cult will use that to sing “how great thou art” to their cult leader, not realizing that when he or members of his rich family need their eyes checked they fly to the US to get top service but because election coming they offering free eye drops to people over 60. What about those under 60 and suffering? Not even that their passport money can give them?

  14. Braindamage
    March 14, 2019

    Thanks Dr. Ricketts. Keep up the good work.

    March 14, 2019

    Not in America that happening, nuh!
    Free medication!? Even you hav Insurance, nothing is FREE!
    Praises to who ever is footing the bill

    • Pipo
      March 15, 2019

      You are right Kid, we pay through our taxes but I don’t mind doing that, better than paying hundreds of thousands for carnaval that does not help people see.

    • Roy
      March 15, 2019

      Promises and gifts before every election is the hallmark of an incompetent and corrupt government. People look me you fall for it every time or are you a paid up member of the cabal. Either way you disgust me!

  16. Dr Clayton Shillingford
    March 14, 2019

    Good work Dr Ricketts

    • mine
      March 15, 2019

      Is Rickett the one giving the free eye drops? Lord have mercy on you all Dominicans.

  17. Andrew Thorley
    March 14, 2019

    Is that just in Roseau or for the whole population?

    • Pipo
      March 15, 2019

      Grow up man, Dominica is a small place, is for everyone of course, provided they have it in stock.

  18. mine
    March 14, 2019

    Wow! you all are lucky to get this eye drops free because I know that they are very expensive. I have insurance the copay is still high,

  19. March 14, 2019

    Glaucoma is to some extent inherited. Hence, anyone with a parent that suffered from glaucoma should have regular check-ups.

    In the UK the check-ups are free for anyone with a family history of glaucoma. I hope that Dominica can eventually follow this practice.

    • Neville
      March 15, 2019

      The ministry of health is not known to be a far ahead thinking or even proactive institution. They rather pay for the citizens medicine just before elections and after the election they conveniently forget about their promise. Don’t let them fool you!

  20. Amarossa
    March 14, 2019

    Wow! This was a great initiative spearheaded by Dr. Hazel Shillingford-Ricketts.

    A true Woman of Substance!

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