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Published: March 23rd 2012
0 0 1 286 1631 Oculoplastics 13 3 1914 14.0
Tuesday meant getting packed and pulling out of the George Hotel in Manzini and headed out to do some lectures, clinics and then end up in Mabuda Farms in Siteki on the far eastern edge of Swaziland…just shy of the Mozambique border. The Eye Team is working with Dr. Jonathan Pons – a South African who for a long time was the only ophthalmologist in Swaziland (there now are two). To call him an ophthalmologist would be an understatement and a misnomer. In preparation for his work here, he has done several partial residencies in obstetrics and gynecology, anesthesia, general surgery, hand surgery and orthopedics, before his eye training. He has run several hospitals in South Africa and Swaziland, and now is the de facto local expert in eye diseases. In addition he manages the Mabuda Farms operation, flies a plane and seeks and fulfills adventures everywhere he goes. We began the day meeting him at Catholic Church St. Theresa’s Clinic – a part time faith-based eye clinic for which he volunteers in Manzini. We saw several challenging cases that he had
saved up for us in the hour and a half we had. We rushed off to the hospital for a series of four lectures we gave to the general medical staff there. All well received. We had a short quick lunch with the Chief Medical Officer and then went off to the Eye Clinic at RFM hospital for another set of challenging cases. Many of these are patients we’ll be operating on Thursday at Good Shepherd Hospital in Siteki. From there we went to Mbabame (the capital city) to see the government hospital and visit their eye clinic there. It was basic and functional, but unfortunately the ophthalmologist wasn’t around for us to meet. Dr. Pons gave us a quick tour, and then we headed back to Siteki. On the way we stopped at a wonderful grocery store for fresh fruit – mangoes, peaches and Swazi beef jerkey – great snack for the hour long drive to Mabuda Farms.
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