Friday, March 11, 2016

Clinic in the Condemned School Building

Today we arrived after an hour’s bus ride to a part of Nepal greatly affected by the earthquake of April 2015.  Almost one year later you can still see families rebuilding their houses out of brick, mortar, concrete and rebar. It is done by hand in the outskirts of Kathmandu, where we have been visiting and it looks like it is a painstakingly long process.

At the end of a small, windy dirt road we arrive at our destination.  It is a school which collapsed during the earthquake and has remained condemned as it is only partially rebuilt, but serves our purpose quite nicely.  It is cool as there is cover over head and a breeze for ventilation.  Also the lighting is good whereby we just have to position some black-out tarp and boxes for seeing into people’s eyes with our ophthalmoscopes and other equipment.  

Believe it or not we actually have running water and soap to wash our hands!  (this is a big bonus and first time this trip) And one of those squat toilets serves it purpose in the ‘doctor’s only’ washroom.  Hmmmmm.  Some of us find other places to pee.

Dr. Dana Blakolmer with the patient who had coloboma
The patient which sticks out in my mind from today is this lovely lady photographed with Dana who had a condition called coloboma.  It is a condition which represents an incomplete formation of the eye during development much like cleft palate.  Often it minimally affects vision, but this woman was almost legally blind in both eyes all of her life.  With a pair of TWECS donated glasses, we were able to get her vision to 20/40 (within the legal driving limit in Canada for perspective).  She was very happy!

By Dr. Shea Colpitts

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