Nicholas Kristof travels to Nepal to meet an ophthalmologist who may have cured more people of blindness than anyone in history.
Watch the video and answer the questions below.
1 How many peoplas has Sanduk Ruit personally cured?
2 How long does the eye surgery festival last?
3 How many peoples does the Himalayan Cataract Project operate on in that time?
4 When will the patient see well again after the operation?
5 How much does each eye surgery cost in Nepal?
6 What is Dr Ruit helping do?
Tully Maia is blind. Without her vision, she can no longer farm, and her family risks going hungry. For centuries the only option for people like Tully Maia was to accept a life of blindness. But now, somebody is changing that.
I’m Nicholas Kristoff. I’ve come here to Nepal, a country still struggling from this year’s earthquake to visit a public health legend.
Thanks for coming!
Such a pleasure to see you!
Dr Sanduk Ruit may have restored sight to more people than anyone else in history.
We claim that the vision outcome is as good as anywhere any the world.
He’s bringing inexpensive eye surgery to poor people with cataract blindness, and not just a few. He has personally cured more than 100,000 Nepalese and counting.
People have come from around the region, some of them trekking all day to attend the eye surgery festival put on by Dr Ruit and his organisation, the Himalayan Cataract Project. Over just two days, Dr Ruit and his team operate on more than a hundred people. It’s an assembly line of hope.
Dr Ruit we brought you a patient. This is Tully Maia.
So what are you doing now?
You know, Nick, I am opening the gateway to the eye. There’s a membrane that I’m opening. There are not many medical interventions where the investment is so strict and the return is so straight. I know the patient is going to see very well tomorrow. I’ll get you to have a look at the nucleus.
Wow! That is the cataract that was making her blind.
Cataracts cause half of all blindness worldwide. In places like American removing them is no big deal. In fact, my mother just had the surgery this summer, but the standard operation is much too expensive for places like Nepal. So Dr Sanduk Ruit created a grassroots network that screens villages for cataracts, then gathers them together for surgery all at once. His biggest innovation was simplifying that surgery so it costs just $25 per eye.
That’s it a few minutes per eye and you’re done.
Assistance like this would have never been developed in the West, where it’s just not necessary. And now that it’s proven in Nepal, Dr Ruit is helping bringing it to Africa, meaning a heroic doctor who’s already cured hundreds of thousands may soon be responsible for curing millions more, allowing them to see again, work again and get their lives back.
Twenty-four hours later, it’s the moment of truth.
How many fingers am I holding up?
You can go.
1 more than 100,000
3 more than 100
4 the following day
5 $25 per eye
6 developing the same scheme in Africa