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February 17th 2015
Published: April 15th 2016
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February 17, 2015 (Sidvodvodko, Swaziland) Today was a non clinical day, so we had meetings and work time, mostly spent at the main TLC campus. We had breakfast and were joined by Dr. Jonathan Pons, the ophthalmologist in the eastern part of Swaziland that we’ll be visiting in March this year. It was great to see Jono again and review his perspective on ophthalmology with the TLC leaders and Jeff and Taylor.

I was asked to do another lecture for the staff and I chose to do something on diabetes and diabetic retinopathy, given the growing burden that disease is having on Swaziland. The diabetic retinopathy we seem to encounter is aggressive and difficult to control, likely because of poor blood sugar control and concomitant hypertension, which is also prevalent here.

I spent some time with Bekah Sartori, RN, the lead surgical nurse, planning requirements for a potential cataract surgery unit, to include exam lane, diagnostic suite and an operating area. As we were working, a construction crew was preparing the foundation for another warehouse next to ours. They should be pouring the concrete slab very soon. We also scoped out some potential spaces that could be used to set up the first surgical units.

It was a very comfortable summer day here – no extremes and only a mild warm breeze. I haven’t seen many bugs or had any mosquito bites. After the day, we were dropped off at our place and we wandered down to the clubhouse for a long leisurely dinner (food is good, service slow). Back to the road at 5 AM tomorrow and off to the northern part of the country.


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