Right next to Nepal’s Mayadevi temple where Buddha was born more than 2,600 years ago, hundreds of people lined up outside a makeshift hospital on a recent dim day, hoping their fading vision might be recovered.
One day later, Buddhist monks dressed in robes, old farmers and housewives can see the world again because the nation’s famous eye surgeon, Dr. Sanduk Ruit, being there with his creative and inexpensive cataract surgery won him many awards.
At the visitor center turned into a temporary eye hospital in Lumbini, located 288 km (180 miles) southwest of the Nepali capital Kathmandu, assembly line surgery made it possible for nearly 400 patients to Get ruit surgery within just three days.
Ruit, also known as the “Spirit of Sight” of Nepal, said: “My whole goal, goal and passion and love is to see there are no needless blind people in the world. .
“The important thing is that people receive fair service, not those who receive and don’t receive. I want to make sure everyone gets it. “
Many people in Nepal, mostly poor, have benefited from the Ruit’s Tilganga Institute of Ophthalmology in Kathmandu. He regularly visits remote villages in the highlands and lowlands of the Himalayas, bringing a team of specialists and equipment to bring surgery to their villages.
Ruit has performed around 130,000 cataract surgeries and is now aiming to expand his work, bringing it to as many countries as possible through a fund he founded with a philanthropist who Mr. Tej Kohli, aiming to complete 500,000 surgeries in the next five years.
Ruit said the idea of the Tej Kohli Ruit Foundation is to make cataract surgeries in Nepal affordable and accessible to everyone.
“We will expand globally to other parts of the world where needed,” he said.
Ruit began her work in 1984, when surgery was performed by removing all cataracts and wearing thick glasses. He found that most people would not wear these glasses and the likelihood of complications is very high.
So he pioneered a simple technique where he removed cataracts without stitching through small incisions and replaced them with a low-cost artificial lens.
The average cost of Ruit surgery is around $ 100. It is free for those who cannot afford it. Patients rarely have to spend the night in the hospital.
Nepal has a limited number of hospitals and medical staff, and most people cannot access services.
Cataracts, which form a white film that blurs the natural lens of the eye, usually occurs in the elderly but sometimes also affects children or young adults. The first condition causes blurred or foggy vision due to the inability to focus properly.
As the cataract develops and matures, it can eventually block all light. Exposure to extreme ultraviolet radiation, especially at high altitudes like in Nepal, is a huge risk factor.
At the operating camps in Lumbini, the patient and the family give full praise to the doctor.
Bhola Chai, a 58-year-old office worker who had to retire because of his blurred vision, was delighted that he was finally able to see again. “This surgery changed my life,” he said.
Others who have benefited from Ruit’s cataract surgery have likened him to a god.
Satindra Nath Tripathi, a farmer benefiting from the surgery, said: “The doctor is not a man sent by God but he is god to me who has given me a new life. “My world is completely dark, but now I have a new life and a new vision.”