Page 2 of Eyelidoc Travel Blog Posts

North America » United States » Oklahoma » Oklahoma City August 22nd 2015

Oklahoma City, OK (Aug 22, 2015) I'm on my way back to Swaziland...our program there is finally bearing surgical fruit - we'll be launching a new cataract surgery program! I say we, because it has been an immense effort by many and disparate individuals. We are coordinating the whole program with The Luke Commission - a faith-based group that has been engaged in primary care, HIV/AIDS and TB management in Swaziland for a decade. In February this year, my trip focused on "bolting on" a vision screening program, and after three days of clinic we had found over 100 patients blind from cataracts. The need for surgery totally outstrips the local capacity, so we began planning and implementing a manual small incision cataract surgery (MSICS) program which is launching on Monday. Our first guest surgeon is ... read more

Asia » China » Sichuan » Chengdu June 3rd 2015

June 3, 2015 (Chengdu) Factoid of the day: there are now an estimated 20 million registered permanent residents and 130,000 expats in Chengdu! What an amazing city. Yesterday was an exercise in patience. We met with folks on the Chinese side (hospital) from facilities planning and management. They speak no English. We translate via physicians who are on our team (who are to some of the the business terminology) and try to communicate concepts like blueprints through the “telephone game”. If it were a Seinfeld sitcom it could be very funny! So it goes something like this.... I ask a question like “How many operating rooms do we need?” expecting to hear an answer like “one” or “two”…7-8 minutes later after animated jumbled Chinese conversations I’m answered with “you can’t build standards compliant operating rooms on ... read more
Dr. Jackson teaching
Getting focused
Dr. Walgama

Asia » China » Sichuan » Chengdu June 2nd 2015

June 2, 2015 (Chengdu, China) Tuesday we were ready to roll up the sleeves and start the planning work. We agreed to meet earlier than usual. Space had been assigned and now we had a real project to work on. When we arrived, ongoing executive meetings with the hospital leadership delayed the start - apparently there were some snags with the initial space they'd offered us. Consensus decision-making is surprisingly important, and the local occupants were unwilling to relocate. With some time on my hands, I walked through the outpatient building to experience the early morning rush. There were hundreds of patients arriving and checking in through long, noisy and busy queues. After about an hour they showed us some different space - smaller than we'd requested, but something we could use to get a good ... read more
Outpatient building
Outpatient Building
Outpatient Building

Asia » China » Sichuan » Chengdu June 1st 2015

June 1, 2015 (Chengdu, China) Monday afternoon we were scheduled to meet with the SPPH President (Dr. Deng Shaoping) and they tasked me with putting together a proposal for a new eye hospital. We’ve worked on the idea for a few years, but after much work, a cooperative agreement existed on paper with minimal advancement of the project - so my expectations were low. We had looked for an agenda a few weeks before arriving, but didn't receive one, so we had not prepared for any negotiation meetings. The tone of this trip was noticeably different as we hit the ground here - we could feel some anticipation, expectation and heard hope expressed that “something will happen” this year. We began meeting with the Department Chair (Dr. Wu) and she too was optimistic so they asked ... read more
Whiteboard Notes
DMEI Delegation
President Deng and VP Yang

Asia » China » Sichuan » Dujiangyan May 31st 2015

May 31, 2015 (Pixian, Sichuan, China ...near Dujiangyan) The work began in earnest on Sunday…a screening clinic in Pixian where we saw about 100 patients with a broad range of eye conditions - mostly severe cataracts, but also a fair amount of cornea and retina disease and some pediatric issues too. The residents observed cataract surgery - one of the early trainees (Lisa) from previous years’ trips was at that hospital operating and she has become very proficient and skilled at cataract surgery. The challenge now is to find another 1000 people like her, train them and provide places to operate and we can do something about the backlog of cataracts here in Sichuan - estimated to be 1.2 million people blind from cataracts! The screening was held outside on the hospital entrance. The hospital was ... read more
Hospital Tour
Wooden Tops

Asia » China » Sichuan » Chengdu May 29th 2015

May 29, 2015 (Chengdu, China) Saturday was a beautiful day - warm, blue skies and sunny - a rare experience in Chengdu. Today we went to the Panda reserve which is in the outskirts of Chengdu. Its a really impressive place, where they started with six giant pandas and now have bred 138 new ones and saved quite a few from the wild. They say there are about 2000 world wide. They divvy them up into Adult, teenager and kindergarten pandas - obviously the smaller ones are cuter and more active. Giant pandas eat up to 100 lbs of bamboo shoots a day! In the afternoon we went to Pixiang - a town 40 minutes from Chengdu we’d visited 5 years ago for the Blindness Prevention Program. It is an area that was devastated by the ... read more
Giant Panda
Neonatal Panda ICU
Old City

Asia » China » Sichuan » Chengdu May 29th 2015

May 29, 2015 (Chengdu, Sichuan, China) Friday morning started out in a lazy relaxed way as we recuperated from our jet lag. After the buffet breakfast the team went for a brisk walk for what turned out to be a spectacular day for weather - high 70's, clear air and a substantial portion of the sky was blue after the smog had cleared with the rainfall last night. The Department Chair (Dr. Wu), the former head of the Sichuan Blindness Prevention Office (Mrs. Zhung) and Dr. Liz Gauger (the current Global Eye Care Fellow) joined us for lunch at the hotel. At 2:00 PM we headed back to SPPH (the hospital) a 10 minute walk away. Here we divided into two teams to focus on the two issues we're working on: 1) academic exchange with their ... read more
Blue Skies!
More of the team

Asia » China » Sichuan » Chengdu May 29th 2015

May 29, 2015 (Chengdu, Sichuan, China) What a difference a good night's rest (sleep might be exaggerating) makes. The rooms at the Pairui Hotel were ready for us and after a short meal, we checked in for the night. The three requisites were there: comfortable bed, good internet access and great hot shower. We all woke up early and headed down for the communal hotel breakfast buffet - always a bit of an adjustment once we get here. But we now know how to ask for salt for the boiled eggs we get! Muggy, warm and drizzling outside this morning. I have a conference call (Skype) after breakfast and the others went to find Starbucks coffee. This afternoon we begin in clinics with the academic exchange portion of the program. The weekend will be spent visiting ... read more
Hotel Paurui
The Week's Agenda

Asia » China » Sichuan » Chengdu May 28th 2015

May 28, 2015 (Chengdu) On Friday afternoon Dr. Patel, Jonathan Walgama, and Jared Jackson joined Liz Gauger, our international ophthalmology fellow, in working with the residents at SPPH. After initial introductions, they spent time reviewing patient cases presented in English by the SPPH residents. The residents worked very hard to prepare their cases and did a good job presenting. The DMEI contingent evaluated the work-up and gave suggestions regarding presentation (with emphasis on the 8-point eye exam!), diagnosis, and management. They even received some impromptu western style teaching regarding causes of abduction deficit by Dr. Patel.... read more

Asia » China » Sichuan » Chengdu May 28th 2015

May 28, 2015 (Chengdu, Sichuan, China) Nihao! After 14 hours on the 787, we landed uneventfully through the smoggy air over Chengdu. It was evening here and the sun was setting but it looked darker because the skies were overcast. The flight was very smooth, on time, and not over crowded and quite pleasant. Most of us watched movies - I just let my brain relax and listened to lots of music. It started raining shortly after landing, and hopefully that will clear the air somewhat for tomorrow. Our hosts graciously met us at the airport and the Hospital van took us back to the hotel where we met Dr. Wu (Department Chair) and her daughter, Sophia (Harvard PhD student that has facilitated 10 years of trips with us, and Liz Gauger (my current Global Eye ... read more

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