Eye care services in the North of Sri Lanka – Update

Further to free eye screening at Ananthi Eye Care (AEC), AssistRR have now been providing free cataract surgeries. As Karuna Trust promised, 25 Mullaithivu patients were taken to Suwanetha Eye Hospital near Rajagiriya on 1st June 2019 and surgeries were successfully conducted on the same day. Karuna Trust also took 25 of Pathaviya patients (screened at AEC) on the same day to Suwanetha for surgeries. Karuna Trust funded all the surgeries and looked after the patients very well. Ramakrishna Mission kindly provided accommodation and food on 31st May. Photos of this camp can be seen by clicking this link here: https://photos.app.goo.gl/39byeDfzApp5LM6A7 Further to our request to Association of Community Ophthalmologists of Sri Lanka, it arranged a surgery camp for 50 patients at Kadawatha Lions Eye Hospital on 09 June 2019. 49 patients were taken by bus to Kadawatha and 44 patients were successfully operated on the same day. Five patients had other medical conditions and couldn’t be helped. They have now been referred to Vavuniya and Jaffna hospitals. 5 of the 44 patients were recommended by Oru Paanai. These surgeries were funded by Uduvil Ratnam Family settled in Canada. Dr Prem Anand, Consultant Ophthalmologist Surgeon at Kalmunai North Base Hospital, made a request to AssistRR to support some surgeries at Kalmunai Hospital and told us that he can do around 40 surgeries on Sunday, 9th June 2019. AssistRR provided 40 lenses (IOLs) and consumables to enable these surgeries. He told us most of the mature cataract patients benefitted have already lost vision in one eye. These surgeries were also funded by Canadian Uduvil Ratnam Family and some of my Peradeniya 1980 Engineering batch mates from Australia and Canada,. AssistRR promised to assist more surgeries in the future, if needed. Photos of Kadawatha and Kalmunai surgery camps are given in the link here: https://photos.app.goo.gl/WjdjZD38iQSSCShS7

AssitRR would like to express its gratitude to Uduvil Ratnam family (Canada), Karuna Trust, some of my Peradeniya 1980 Engineering batch mates from Australia and Canada, and Ramakrishna Mission (Colombo) for their generous support to these efforts. A surgery is currently costing around £45-£50 due to various reasons, which are beyond our control. We should point out that this is the cheapest cost of a surgery at present. If anyone/any organisation interested in funding surgeries, please kindly contact us. There is still a huge backlog and we can certainly help the poor, elderly and vulnerable patients to regain their eyesight. We are taking another 50 patients from Mannar to Suwanetha Eye Hospital near Rajagiriya on 13 July 2019 for cataract surgeries.

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