178 cured of blindness
From the 16th of April to 18th April 2021, the Tej Kohli and Ruit Foundation conducted its second high volume outreach microsurgical eye camp (OMEC) in Nepal’s Solukhumbu District. The district is located in the foothills of Mt. Everest. Although the actual camp was held on the dates mentioned before, the groundwork for the camp was laid from much before.
Unlike the Tej Kohli and Ruit Foundation’s camp in Lumbini, the team could not ask patients to come to the screening centre. Therefore, a medical team had to reach out to the remote corners of the district to identify patients with cataracts.
Amongst them was Shri Mani Rai, an elderly woman who had been blind due to cataracts for the past four years. She lived alone in the remote Himalayan outback, and was dependent upon her daughter who lived fifteen minutes away. Shri Mani had been living with great difficulty and she along with her family was overjoyed to hear that she would receive a second chance to sight and life at the Tej Kohli and Ruit Foundation’s microsurgical camp.
The medical team went on to identify several other cases of cataract blindness – and everyone was invited to visit the camp.
A medical team led by the Tej Kohli and Ruit Foundation co-founder Dr. Sanduk Ruit arrived at the community eye centre to assist in the cure of cataract blindness. Over the next three days, Dr. Sanduk Ruit and Dr. Sagar Ruit assisted by eye healthcare workers and volunteers conducted over 170 cataract surgeries.
The patients, all from different walks of life and from varying age groups were treated for free. Bipana, a fourteen year old girl received a second chance to sight at the camp. She was extremely worried that her worsening cataracts would bring her ongoing education to an end. The schools in the remote Himalayan outback do not have provisions and resources for the visually impaired. If not treated, Bipana would have been completely blind. Unable to work, and dependent on her family members, she would have led a life of hopelessness and despair.
Thankfully, with the Tej Kohli and Ruit Foundation microsurgical camp, Bipana received a second chance to sight.