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Khmer Sight Foundation


Post Humanitarian Cambodia Story- a great finish to a great cause!

5 days in Cambodia, another humbling experience. A great team of six surgeons 3 scrub nurses, a resilient solo act from the anaesthetist, 2 enthusiastic optometrists, and many local volunteers. The mission to see and care for as many patients with reversible ocular comorbidities (mainly cataract and pterygia) as possible and give them the gift of sight. Against odds of a reduced local surgical staff, leaking roofs (needing repair / fumigation of theatres) and fluctuating medical students volunteering to provide the language support we managed to bring an improvement in lives of patients hitting near the century mark.

The hesitation of patients to come for surgery, their last-minute cancellation to get on the bus to bring them to the centre despite having hand movements, proves the essence of humanity under despair, the depth of the poverty that dictates the prioritization of hunger vs vision. Those who came possibly had enhanced motivation to see, with underlying reasons that we in the western world don’t come across and wouldn’t fathom understanding. The motivation presented with a persistent smile on their face, the grateful posture and the love for the team when the vision improved after surgery. The smiles and gratitude was enough to melt the hearts of the overseas team and we found ourselves repeated bowing our heads with hands in the well-established “namaste pose” in response to their happiness and unconditional appreciation for our efforts, silently saying that we feel your pain and hopefully we have made some difference to your lives.

Change is always good!! Me and my team will certainly have and will be appreciating the holistic change we all felt and with the creeping desire and hunger to do more, we shall certainly return to Cambodia or other deprived countries to give support with our expertise, time and help that these people so deserve to have a better quality of life. These places are where the PROMs should actually be conducted to see what statistical difference have our actions made.

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