South Africa Mint Honours the invention of Retinal Cryoprobe

25 Apr 2020  Sat

Considered a year of new beginnings and renewals according to the Chinese horoscope 2020, as ironic as it may sound, the South Africa Mint embraced the sentiment in its entirety as it renews its prized collectible coins and the iconic Krugerrand.

The latest South African innovation highlighted is the retinal cryoprobe, invented and commercialized by South African ophthalmologist and biomedical engineer Dr. Selig Percy Amoils at Baragwanath Hospital, Africa’s largest hospital located in Soweto, Johannesburg, in 1965.

The retinal cryo-probe is a large, pen-like instrument commonly used in cryo-surgery. The retinal cryo-probe emits analgesic nitrous oxide at below-freezing temperatures of -80o degrees Celsius. Cataracts have been identified as a national health priority in the country and remain the leading cause of blindness according to the South African Optometric Association.

This technology was also used on late president Nelson Mandela.

For his work, Amoils was also bestowed with the Silver Order of Mapungubwe “for excellence in the field of ophthalmology and for inspiring his colleagues in the field of science.” The Order was first inaugurated in 2002 and is awarded to South African citizens for achievements that have impacted internationally and served the interests of the Republic of South Africa.

The R2 crown features the anatomy of an eye on the reverse, while the tickey shows a gloved hand holding the retinal cryoprobe when the 2.5c tickey is placed on top of the crown in the designated area, the surgical procedure is recreated.

Image Courtesy: South Africa Mint

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