Crossing heights and hurdles in the journey of providing vision

Mobile Eye Surgical Unit

The Mobile Eye Surgical Unit, Sankara Nethralaya’s operation theatre on wheels,in keeping with its avowed objective of taking the light of vision to the most remote and unreachable regions and to the most socially and economically backward communities commenced its noble journey from Sankara Nethralaya, Main campus, Chennai to the hilly terrain of Vellimalai located near Kallakuruchi, Villipuram District, a distance of about 350 kms between the 20th and 27th September 2014.

Vellimalai, as the name suggests, is a place of magnificent beauty, it is surrounded by rocky mountains and dense forests and a serene environment far from the hustle and bustle of the urban region. The geographic nature of the place however makes it very difficult to access and the region remains largely isolated from the neighbouring areas. If the steep terrain posed a challenge in terms of traversing to the top for the twin buses, the total remoteness of the place and low awareness levels of the locals posed a challenge to the crew in terms of executing the camp successfully. A crew not unaccustomed to such challenges the doctors and support staff geared up to the challenge and made the camp a grand success.

The MESU team comprising of a Consultant Ophthalmologist, Optometrists, Para medics, admin personnel began their hectic activity from day one when there was a beeline of visitors to the camp, for screening and comprehensive eye evaluation. The Eye camp came as a boon to the villagers in and around Vellimalai, who had  poor access to the nearest town  and almost no access to health care benefits .The team retuned jubilantly to the base hospital after completing one of its memorable outdoor surgery camps and providing the light of vision to a significant number of vision impaired living in a hilly tribal area with no access to even the most basic healthcare.

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