One of two doctors doing glacoma screenings.Earlier this week I had my first exposure to the eye camps here in Madurai. Both me and Avilash, a Fulbright Scholar who is also working at Aurolab, had the opportunity to go visit one this past Sunday.
Eye Camps are usually held in rural areas; however the one we took part in was just on the outskirts of Madurai at a local temple. The temple/ashram was founded by Mata Amritanandamayi – you may know her as the Hindu spiritual leader who gives hugs to people of all walks of life.
At the ashram, all the workers started the day with breakfast. After breakfast was served, the 15 nurses and 2 physicians went to work setting up the camp. Within a couple of minutes, the whole ashram was transformed into a eye screening and diagnoses center- equipped with 10 separate stations for various visual screening purpose. You had basic stations for registration and selecting glasses, while others were a little more sophisticated – including dilation and glaucoma screening. Each station had a number associated with it and was organized in an easy to use fashion. At about 8 PM the locals started rolling in. It was nothing short of amazing, about 2000 patients probably when through all stations in the matter of 4 hours. The physicians had the opportunity to see all the patients and those suffering from cataracts were sent to the main hospital to receive surgical treatment via shuttle bus. It was amazingly efficient and screened for a majority of eye related diseases. I personally thought this was the biggest bright spot of what Aravind had to offer.