What a challenging but excellent week helping the volunteers with Khmer Sight Foundation complete 116 surgeries over 4 days. Hard work and very busy but still managed to make a few pictures for the team.
The first day was pretty hectic, with new people getting to know each other, learning where everything was and who was doing what. Dr Gupta, the team leader with the help of the permanent staff at the clinic got things running like a well-oiled machine, the staff helping each other and getting do something in the most efficient way possible to enable as many patients to be seen.
The patience and gratitude shown by the Cambodian people waiting to be seen was heartwarming and enabled the doctors to see and treat many more people.
People working together to help others who cannot help themselves are always great to witness, and the potential change in the lives of those treated cannot be measured in money. Imagine being almost blind and then, because of the hard work of KSF, being able to see again, like a miracle.
Overcoming fear and apprehension, the staff showed understanding and kindness. People fear the unknown and things they don’t understand and need support throughout the process and the Khmer volunteers achieved this admirable. Seeing the happiness and relief on people’s faces when this ordeal was done made all the hard work worthwhile.
Personally, I did very little in comparison to the work the team achieved, I helped where I could and just hope that my pictures will add something to the team’s trip. Memories are made in pictures.
A celebratory dinner, after a long day, when people could let their hair down a little, and many friends made.
What a busy two days spent working hard, by the team, to identify the people with the greatest need for further treament. The team assessed over 350 people over the 2 days with over 100 people needing further treatment.
The team was supported by the local administration which provided support staff from various clinics in the area.
10,000 Cambodians suffer avoidable blindness each year. 90% of blindness is avoidable with the right care and skilled doctors to provide it. Sadly Cambodia has one of the lowest numbers of eye specialist doctors per capita in the world. Many people living in rural areas have no access to eye care, meaning their Cataracts, uncorrected vision, glaucoma, corneal scarring and pterygium go untreated.
All the people from KSF are volunteers and provide their skills and expertise without charge. They work hard and long in difficult conditions without complaint to try and provide this much-needed service to the Cambodian people.
Every year since 2013/14 I have be invited to spend the week with the forPeace house building team on there quest to finish houses donated to poor families in the Cambodia countryside. Covid 19 interupted the seasonal job as 2020 had o be cancelled. Hopefully 2021 will happen.
I am spending some time volunteering with the Khmer Sight Foundation which helps people with vision problems. It is a free service funded by donations and costs the patient nothing.
Initially the people are very wary and scared as they don’t really understand what is going to happen to them, many probably have been treated badly in the past and are reluctant to take advantage of the service. This seems to change quite quicly once they realise that they will be treated with kindness and understanding, but getting them to that point I understand can be quite a challenge.