Eye camp restores sight to scores of elderly in KalikotThe two-day camp was organised by Palata Rural Municipality in collaboration with Nepal Netra Jyoti Sangh and Himalaya Eye Hospital.
Rajawan Bhandari and his wife Juni Bhandari, both aged 77 now, of Pulaha in ward 1 of Palata Rural Municipality in Kalikot lost their vision completely over the last four years.
But, two weeks ago, the couple regained their eyesight after a cataract surgery at an eye camp organised in Thirpu village.
Akabar Bhandari gave his mother Juni a piggyback ride to the eye camp while his father Rajawan was carried to the camp by one of the villagers. The journey to the camp in Thirpu took about five hours, says Akabar.
“I cannot express my happiness in words. My world had gone completely dark. It is a blessing to be able to see again,” said Rajawan while returning home from the camp. When the doctor removed the blindfolds after the surgery, their happiness was palpable in a photograph taken at that moment.
“My son carried me to the eye camp on his back. Now I can walk home on my own two legs,” said Juni. The Bhandari couple returned home on foot from Thirpu following the cataract treatment.
According to Akabar, his father Rajawan started using prescription glasses 12 years ago. But he went completely blind four years ago. “My mother also could not see well. Life had become hard for them due to blindness,” he said. “They had to depend on family members even for small tasks. Those difficulties are now over.”
Many people like the Bhandari couple have benefited from the eye camp organised at Thirpu from October 14 to 16.
Mansur Budha, a resident of ward 4 of Palata, was unable to see properly for more than three years. He also underwent a cataract surgery and regained his vision.
Budha said that his life was empty without eyesight, and his heart was filled with joy after he regained his vision.
“I bless the doctor who conducted my surgery for bringing back my eyesight. I don’t know how to repay the doctors and the health workers. I was unable to even move from one place to another without the help of others, but now I have regained vision and independence,” said Budha.
Mana Sanjyal, a 75-year-old woman from Tolibhid in ward 7 of Pachaljharana Rural Municipality, is able to see again after a surgery at the camp.
According to Sanjyal, for several years she suffered from blurred vision and had completely lost vision four years ago. After her surgery at the camp, Sanjyal regained her eyesight, thanked the doctor, and returned home with a smile.
Bishnu Rokaya, chairman of Palata Rural Municipality, said that the camp was set up since several elderly in the rural municipality were suffering blurred vision and declining eyesight, among other eye-related problems. “Most people were suffering in silence because they could not go to the district headquarters, Manma, for treatment,” said Rokaya. “The eye camp was a blessing for many.”
According to Rokaya, the camp was organised by Palata Rural Municipality in collaboration with the Nepal Netra Jyoti Sangh of Kalikot and Himalaya Eye Hospital of Pokhara. “All the surgeries were conducted free of charge,” said Rokaya.
According to Dr Aashish Jammarkattel, the chief of the camp, patients from Bajura, Mugu, and Kalikot received free treatment and surgeries at the camp. Among the beneficiaries, 77 patients underwent cataract surgeries, and 601 people received free eye check-ups.
“During the camp, it was found that several cataract patients in Kalikot were suffering at home unable to visit the health facilities in Manma,” said Janmarkattel. “Such camps should be organised more often to cater to those in need.”