(what a great story – and the cost to restore eyesight is about $25.00 per patient. (Doctors and Nurses donate their time and talents) Sad state for the US is when you add the Insurance factor – the cost for this same operation is thousands and thousands of dollars).
He has restored eyesight to more than 100,000 people, perhaps more than any doctor in history, and still his patients come. They stagger and grope their way to him along mountain trails from remote villages, hoping to go under his scalpel and see loved ones again.
A day after he operates to remove cataracts, he pulls off the bandages — and, lo! They can see clearly. At first tentatively, then jubilantly, they gaze about. A few hours later, they walk home, radiating an ineffable bliss.
Dr. Sanduk Ruit, a Nepali ophthalmologist, may be the world champion in the war on blindness. Some 39 million people worldwide are blind — about half because of cataracts — and another 246 million have impaired vision, according to the World Health Organization.
If you’re a blind person in a poor country, then traditionally you have no hope. But Dr. Ruit has pioneered a simple cataract microsurgery technique that costs only $25 per patient and is virtually always successful. Indeed, his “Nepal method” is now taught in United States medical schools.
I’m on my annual win-a-trip journey, in which I take a university student with me on a trip to the developing world to cover underreported issues. The student, Austin Meyer of Stanford University, and I traveled to Hetauda in southern Nepal to watch Dr. Ruit perform his magic on 102 men and women.
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