This miracle is happening now in the Tansa Valley, thanks to the work of PRASAD Chikitsa.
Restoration of eyesight has been high on PRASAD’s agenda for decades, both in India and in Mexico. Large eye camps, named Netraprakash, meaning the light of the eye, were undertaken near Ganeshpuri by PRASAD in the 1990s. In the last of these large eye camps, held in 1999, over 700 volunteers came from around the world to help restore the sight of 1,200 people using state-of-the-art ophthalmic medical equipment.
PRASAD Chikitsa now has the equipment and medical personnel to regularly undertake cataract surgery at the Gurudev Siddha Peeth Netrachikitsa Hospital. This has meant that large-scale eye camps have now been replaced by small local eye camps. Surgery can take place on a weekly basis. Awareness talks on eye health, blindness and vision impairment are now a regular occurrence in the Tansa Valley.
Blindness in rural India is an economic liability, especially for a poor family. School-age children may have to stay home to care for a blind family member. Restoring vision has benefits for the individual and the whole community as well.
Cataracts are a major cause of avoidable blindness in developing countries, and cataract surgery is one of the most cost-effective health interventions available.
Eye camps screen patients for cataracts as well as other eye conditions. Recent camps in four villages screened 844 people; 93 were diagnosed with operable cataracts.
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$50 means another 10 villagers can undergo a cataract operation
School teachers are a precious resource in India. In the Tansa Valley, the PRASAD Chikitsa eye care team organised eye checkup camps, and more than half the teachers examined were found to have vision problems, many needing corrective lenses and 3% having cataracts.
It is important that teachers remain in the area, so the screening will be offered in many additional schools.
A key part of PRASAD Chikitsa’s work has been training community members to identify common ailments. These volunteers, mostly women, are known as Aarogyavardhinis or AVs.
In the village of Gaigotha, Bharti and Ravita were trained to identify various ailments. Recently these AVs identified people with vision problems and arranged for them to attend a scheduled eye camp in the village. The ophthalmology team confirmed that there were issues. The screening work of the AVs allows medical teams to spend their time efficiently and make sure people in outlying areas are not missed.