Mr Mark Penney, Headmaster of Solihull Preparatory School, made an appeal in April 2021 (http://assistrr.org/?p=4334), for providing free cataract surgeries in Sri Lanka. As a result of this appeal, Solihull School Community (Team Solihull) raised £45,270.00 in the UK (including gift aids) through our charity Assist RR. Due to Covid-19, it wasn’t practical to conduct many surgeries in 2021. However, Assist RR have now managed to complete this project, and funded 2199 surgeries in Sri Lanka. Breakdown of these surgeries is given in this link: Team Solihull Cataract Surgeries Summary. Some photos are also attached from these camps. I am sure you can see the smiles and happiness of the patients, who benefitted from this project. None of these patients will ever have the means of reversing this preventable blindness for themselves. In total, we spent £50,038.00 for these 2199 surgeries. Team Solihull raised £45,270.00 and Assist RR contributed £4768.00.
We would like to express our gratitude to Team Solihull and to everyone who donated very generously towards this project. Special thanks should go to Mark & Donna Penney, and their team for walking 53kM for raising this amazing sum of funds. We also would like to thank all the surgeons (14 of them), who volunteered to carry out these 2199 surgeries. Surgeons’ names are given in Team Solihull Cataract Surgeries Summary. We would like to mention Dr M Malaravan, Surgeon, Jaffna Teaching Hospital (TH), who performed 827 surgeries for patients from Jaffna, Vavuniya, Mannar and Mullaithivu at Jaffna TH, Dr N Niroshan, Surgeon at Kalmunai North DGH (600 surgeries), and Dr Waruna Wijayasriwardena, Surgeon at Anurathapura TH (320 surgeries). Patients were taken to Jaffna from Vanni districts by buses organised by Assist RR. Following a request from the director of Colombo National Eye Hospital, Dr A R M Thowfeek, we funded 200 surgeries at the Colombo National Eye Hospital including 50 to the inmates of Welikada prison.
This is a huge support to the patients in Sri Lanka, as there is lack of medical supplies to the hospitals. Most of the hospitals are relying on donations to perform their routine surgeries. Following the successful completion of this project, a philanthropist from Malaysia has already provided a significant sum of funds for continuing our cataract project. Our sincere gratitude to his family for their continued support to the needy people in Sri Lanka. We have already received several requests from hospitals for support to carry out cataract surgeries. We will continue with our endeavour to assist vulnerable people with the support of many of you, who have been supporting very generously.