Free Cataract Operations in Mullaitivu, Sri Lanka
AMDA in collaboration with Taiwan-International Health Action (IHA) conducted "Free Cataract Operation Mission" for the second time in Sri Lanka. The first Mission was conducted in August 2011 in Jaffna and this time it was conducted in Mullaitivu that was severely affected by the civil war, ended in 2009.
Mullaitivu is the main town in the Mullaitivu District, situated on the northeastern coast of Northern Province, Sri Lanka. It has a population of almost 100,000 and most of them are Fisherman and farmers who are economically disadvantaged.
The Taiwan team, which is formed by an eye surgeon, a nurse and a coordinator, was given a warm welcome with a welcome ceremony on the first day.
The eye surgeon from Taiwan IHA and 3 senior local surgeons together with the untiring support of fellow staffs (around 30 in total) completed about 190 operations in 3 days. Using the only Phaco machine that was available the team did most of the operations but also there were many cases of cataracts that needed conventional ECCE(Extracapsular cataract extraction) method. The surgeries were performed at Mullaitvu General Hospital from 28th - 31st July 2013. However the preparation including screening etc. started well before from 14th of July. This mission was funded by Taiwan IHA (Medical) and AMDA (non-medical and Logistics).
The mission was complete with the support of AMDA Sri Lanka, Staff from Mullaitivu General Hospital, Jaffna Teaching Hospital, Trincomalee Hospital and Nuwara Eliya hospital, Vision 2020 Secretariat of Sri Lankan Ministry of Health, Mullaitivu Regional Director of Health Services (RDHS), Sri Lankan Army, and Brahmakumari Yoga Center, a local NPO.
It was a very successful mission that was highly praised by the locals and local officials. The hospital and local government officials also requested for donations of minor equipment, which the hospital lacks of, for the eye unit of Mullaitivu Hospital.