Helping Blind eyes see

Truly some amazing things happened in the community of Harbu Chulule, Ethiopia. Dr. Asrat, and Ethiopian cataract surgeon, completed the first ever Hopethiopia sponsored eye surgery clinic. Below is a summary of what happened.

Dr. Asrat prepares to take care of a cataract patient

1.      Friday December 9, 2011; went to Harbu-Chulule and arranged the setup of the operating room, cleaning the room, sterilizing equipment/drapes as well as fumigating the room for surgery. In this day cataract surgery isn’t done because of the above activities.

2.      Saturday December 10, 2011; started surgery early in the morning before 7:00 AM and we did 13 cataract surgeries the whole day and the day was a busy and fruitful day where God was with all of us to do the surgery. Dr Ralph came this day visited and worked with the OR team and also took pictures and videos of the surgery. In the middle of the 4th /5th surgery electric power of the town disconnected and I was in worry on how to continue with this situation but fortunately Dr Ralph has brought a powerful modern and durable battery and we did the surgery with the battery. God also blessed us this day too.

3.      Sunday December 11, 2011:- We started in the morning at 7:00 AM and did 15 cataract surgeries and it was a wonderful day. The team was interested and energetic to work until 7:30 PM. First day post operation visit was done and the result is very good and they were happy and could see things clearly. A blessed day!

4.      Monday December 12, 2011; the Health center was full of ophthalmic patients. The attendance of patients was increased dramatically due the fact that dwellers of the area heard about what is going on in the health center.  95 patients were screened for cataract and trachoma. Out of them, 28 patients were found having cataract and they were given a tentative appointment to come after 2 months. In the first day, 13 were operated, second day, 15 patients were operated. However, in the last day, from dawn to dusk, there was no electric power and hence no light. In the absence of electric power, we were unable to sterilize our instruments and conduct surgery. So, we have to find a way to sterilize our equipment and conduct the surgery. As a solution an electric generator was rented from the town and the instruments were sterilized. In addition Dr Ralphs’s modern battery was with us. Using these two opportunities, on that third day, 9 cataract surgeries were performed. It would have been a meaningless day if Dr Ralph’s battery hadn’t been with us! It was a great help. The day was a blessed day.

5.      Tuesday December 13, 2011; plan is set to examine some patients and then do some trachoma surgery as well as conduct training to the nurses and Health officers on how to do trachoma surgery. A live demonstration of trachoma surgery to the staffs on three eyelids is shown and it was successful. Kemal and I did another 4 lid surgeries and it was very good.

6.      Wednesday December 14, 2011; four trachoma surgeries done today. The total number of trachoma surgeries done is 11. This is my free contribution to the community. The trachoma surgeries done will be my donation to Hope Ethiopia. I have given 2 trachoma surgery sets for the Health center to do the surgery.

God bless,


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