Cataract Sufferers Benefit From Free Eye Surgery Campaign
A Durban ophthalmologist and his team performed 21 cataract operations in one day at no cost as part of a religious organisation’s medical programme.
Dr Mohammed Nasser Khan, a private ophthalmologist, teamed up with the Sri Sathya Sai Sudha Trust and St Aidan’s Hospital last week to perform the surgery free of charge to the needy.
A cataract is a clouding that develops in the crystalline lens of the eye, obstructing the passage of light.
The surgery — which costs at least R6500 in a state hospital and up to R15000 in a private institution — was funded by Khan and the trust.
The programme is part of the trust’s cele- bration of the 83rd birthday of Sri Sathya Sai Baba today.
Khan said that he was “happy and willing” to support the cause.
“These types of programmes are rewarding and are making inroads into the huge cataract backlog throughout the country,” he said.
He believed it was “divine intervention” that led him to the programme.
“At the end of the day, we are all working for God. This type of seva (selfless service) is all God’s work, irrespective of caste, colour and creed.”
The programme, which is supported by department heads and staff at St Aidan’s Hospital, was launched last Saturday and will be held at least three times every year.
“We make use of the hospital’s facilities and are assisted by other doctors, medical consultants and staff, including a private anaesthetist,” said Khan.
“The best part of it all is to see the appreciation shown by the patients. It is something priceless to see the smiles on their faces.”
A medical co-ordinator of the Sai Trust, John Gengan, said that the patients were carefully screened before the procedure to ensure that they qualified for the free surgery.
“It is so fulfilling when you are able to take a person out of darkness and show him or her the light, and the best part of it is the fact that it is done out of pure love,” said Gengan.