We are thrilled to announce that due to the support of Seva Canada’s donors and the hard work of the Seva Nepal team and Geta Eye Hospital, the last district with no eye care in all of Nepal has access to eye care with the inauguration of the Bajura Primary Eye Care Centre (PECC). Now the people of the district can have 90% of their eye problems dealt with by an Ophthalmic Assistant near their home rather than having to take the 2-day journey to Geta Eye Hospital that would cost them a month’s salary, an impossibility for many. At the inauguration, speeches were made by Ram Prasad Kandel from our Seva Nepal office, Dr. Pant the Director of Geta Eye Hospital, the head of the local district and Penny Lyons, Seva Canada Executive Director. Penny even managed to thank everyone in Nepali! From today onward, wheat farmers like the 45-year old man we met who walked 3 hours from his home in Jugala would have lost his eyesight in one of his eyes due to a piece of a wheat plant, about 2 inches long, that got stuck under his eye lid 5 days prior while he was bundling wheat. He was in incredible pain as each time he blinked or closed his eyelid the piece of wheat scratched his cornea. This abrasion would have caused a corneal opacity and scarring; within 2 weeks he would have been blind in that eye. However, the Ophthalmic Assistant at the PECC removed the piece of wheat in a few minutes, provided an antibiotic drop and the farmer was quickly on his way home to get back to work, his vision fully intact. He was so eager to get back home, we couldn’t even get his picture! This story illustrates just how much of an impact the PECC will have in the lives of the people of Bajura.
The Eye Camp in Bajura was a success!
Just like the previous day, the cataract patients eagerly awaited the medical team’s arrival to have their bandages removed and to see if their sight had been restored, their and their families’ lives positively changed forever. Again they sat in two lines and their bandages were efficiently removed and one by one their vision tested with a portable slit lamp. Every single operation was a success! The patients happily headed home in their sunglasses with their families by their side, no longer having to be led or carried, their independence regained.As the medical team packed up the equipment and supplies, we headed out on our 5-hour walk, saying good-bye to the people of Bajura and the beauty of the surrounding Himalayan mountains. As we hiked we met patients from the previous day along the way happily getting back to their lives at home and grateful to our donors back in Canada and the medical team for their compassion and generosity.
An entire school came outside to say “Namaste,” the future generation of Bajura who will not have to needlessly suffer from avoidable blindness or low vision thanks to Canadian donors and the work of Seva in Canada and Nepal and our local partner, the Geta Eye Hospital. Namaste!