Nyima Yongsam, eye care outreach coordinator for the Kham Eye Centre in Dartsedo, China is tireless. In this land of mountains and high plateaus the season for eye screening and outreach is short, the distances enormous and the need great. Nyima spends most of her time between March and October travelling with a team of eye care specialists. They travel hundreds of kilometers between towns organizing eye screening, treatment and surgeries to those living on ‘the roof of the world’.
Travelling to some eye camp locations can take days of driving at average elevations of 3500 to 4500 meters. The scenery is both desolate and spectacular – tree filled valleys, mountain passes, Tibetan cowboys, ornate monasteries and animals from wild yaks, foxes, horses, and antelopes to camels.
A combination of genetics, high UV light and little available healthcare results in the nomads, farmers and herders who live here suffering from the highest rates of blindness in the world.
Nyima is funny, bawdy, passionate and very skilled at mobilizing resources to bring eye care to those who need it most.