Himalayan Cataract Project International Fellow Dr. Ben Thomas participated in an outreach event in a small town in the Dhading district of Nepal. Dr. Thomas worked alongside Dr. Anu Manandhar (former HCP fellow) of the Tilganga Institute of Ophthalmology, and performed 30 surgeries. The outreach was sponsored by Tilganga and the Fred Hollows Foundation and held at a local school; surgeries and follow-up care were all performed within classrooms.
Outreach teams often reach inaccessible areas by foot and more often than not arrive to communities with no electricity and minimal sanitation and potable water. Within a matter of hours, the team can turn a dusty schoolhouse, or whatever building is available, into an equivalent medical ward where sight-restoring surgery is carried out to comparable standards found in the developed world.
Even in remote areas, the consistent goal of the team is to provide the highest quality eye care to as many people as possible and perform as many surgeries as possible. The eye camp ophthalmologists seek to treat everyone they can with a treatable eye disease.
Himalayan Cataract Project International Fellow Dr. Zvi Kresch is at Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) in Kumasi for six weeks to lecture ophthalmology residents, provide hands-on surgical training, and specific expertise in uveitis. He participated in World Sight Day activities by working at a small outreach at St. Martin’s Catholic Hospital that provided 17 cataract surgeries and by going on local radio to raise awareness about eye diseases and the efforts at KATH to address and combat those diseases.
HCP has contributed to the training of KATH clinicians, administrators and residents through follow-up visits by HCP affiliated ophthalmologists and personalized trainings. Sustainable eye care requires local staffing of ophthalmologists, eye care workers and administrators and necessitates ensuring top rate training and education at all levels. HCP trains local eye care teams with methodologies optimized for the developing world. This allows for the expansion of efficient eye care delivery, an increased number of patients treated, and an increased number of trained eye care specialists who can then train future eye care providers.
In early September, the Tilganga Institute of Ophthalmology outreach team, from Kathmandu, Nepal, with support from HCP and others, organized a microsurgical outreach clinic in Ladakh, India.
Four pre-surgery screenings were held, where over 1,370 patients were screened for cataracts. Local monks and organizations assisted with the screening process.
The outreach event provided over 180 successful cataract operations to patients came from five different regions in the Jammu/Kashimir region of mountainous India. Anitbiotic eye drops and bandages were provided to the patients post surgery and patients and family members were counseled on the care of the eyes. A mass eye health education program was also held on the day of patient discharge to ensure post-operative care.
To read an article about the outreach, please visit the following link from The Telegraph, an Australian newspaper: http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/dr-sanduk-ruit-worked-with-australian-icon-fred-hollows-and-has-gone-on-to-perfect-his-technique-and-teach-it-to-the-world/story-fni0cx4q-1226714692730.
There will be more photos to come.