10 Days in Nepal: (3) Hetauda Cataract Eye Camp

When: December 2014                 Weather 10-20C

Leica M240.  35mm summilux F1.4

After three nights in Kathmandu, we set off on Christmas morning on our main mission, to do a cataract surgical eye camp in Hetauda, at the Hetauda Community Eye Hospital, set up by the main Tilganga Eye Institute in Kathmandu. This institute is led by the remarkable Dr Sanduk Ruit, a man who has dedicated his life to eradicating cataract blindness in impoverished parts of the world. Hetauda is a southern city across a mountain range, not very far as the crow flies but a long way by road….we chose to go there by the shortest most direct route over the mountains and this still took more than 5 hours with one stop for lunch….very scenic but long and bumpy!

the road to Hetauda cross the mountains

the road to Hetauda cross the mountains

 

pretty fields of mustard

pretty fields of mustard

 

pretty landscape

rugged landscape

 

lunch was taken in a little roadside cafe...fried fish and chicken were nice

lunch was taken in a little roadside cafe…fried fish and chicken were nice

 

local child at the cafe

local child at the cafe

 

the town of hetauda, taken from a hill above the suspension bridge over the Rapti River

the town of hetauda, taken from a hill above the suspension bridge over the Rapti River

 

Hetauda Community Eye Hospital

Hetauda Community Eye Hospital

 

400 patients had been screened and identified to have cataracts requiring surgery

400 patients had been screened and identified to have cataracts requiring surgery

 

they were housed in hired tents as many had come from afar

they were housed in hired tents as many had come from afar

 

inside the tent

inside the tent

 

patients were gowned and patiently waited their turns

patients were gowned and patiently waited their turns

 

pre-operative preparations with injections of local anaesthesia

pre-operative preparations with injections of local anaesthesia

 

the redoubtable Dr Ruit at work, he was able to do more than 50 cases a day!

the redoubtable Dr Ruit at work, he was able to do more than 50 cases a day, something many of us would find exhausting!

 

We did a combination of modern phacoemulsification surgery and manual small incision cataract surgery, implanting lenses made at the Tilganga Institute itself, lenses which are exported to may other countries at very low cost.  All this surgery was of course gratis to the patients and we are grateful to the many donors, not least of which the Fred Hollows foundation from Australia.

 

The Fred Hollows Lens Implant facility

The Fred Hollows Lens Implant facility

 

Dr N Tan at work with manual small incision cataract surgery

Dr N Tan at work with manual small incision cataract surgery

 

the team breaking for lunch in between surgeries

the team breaking for lunch in between surgeries

the day after the first surgeries, the patients receive instructions on post-op eye care

the day after the first surgeries, the patients receive instructions on post-op eye care

 

opening the eye patches, some of the patients were able to see well for the first time in years..

opening the eye patches, some of the patients were able to see well for the first time in years..

 

this man had been blind for more than 10 years...

this man had been blind for more than 10 years…

 

He had dense cataracts in both eyes and was offered surgery to both; he however insisted on only having one eye done...here the left eye can be seen to still have a whitish cataract whilst the right pupil is clear

He had dense cataracts in both eyes and was offered surgery to both; he however insisted on only having one eye done…here the left eye can be seen to still have a whitish-brown cataract whilst the right pupil is clear

 

This was his 4 year old daughter whom he had never seen before!

This was his 4 year old daughter whom he had never seen before!

 

The patients did very well and this was repeated for three days resulting in 400 successful surgeries

The patients did very well and this was repeated for three days resulting in 400 successful surgeries

 

This outreach cataract eye camp was ultimately the most fulfilling part of our trip to Nepal.  For more information and if you would like to help, please visit the Tilganga website.

http://www.tilganga.org/

 

2 thoughts on “10 Days in Nepal: (3) Hetauda Cataract Eye Camp

  1. Hello… beautiful images! I am working with a non-profit organization that is associated with the Hetauda Community Eye Hospital. We would like to ask you about possibly using one of your images for a page on their website about Community Eye Hospitals. Could you contact me by email to let me know if this is possible? Thank you in advance!

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