Cured of blindness — Giving people a new lease of life | #2030InSight
Thanchowk is a village in the Manang district of Nepal. Many of the residents live an isolated, remote life tucked away from the rest of the world.
This is the life that 68 year old Jun Maya Gurung leads. Having lived in Thanchowk village for her entire life, she hadn’t been aware of the outside world. Up until recently, Jun Maya was a farmer by trade. She farmed crops such as maize, potatoes and wheat which supported and allowed an income for her and her family.
Jun has three children, two living with her and one working outside of the village. Having a family means that becoming blind can leave a heavy burden on those around you. Losing vision means that people can no longer work due to their condition and others around them have to either work harder whilst also caring for the blind person.
However, for the past two years she had begun to struggle to work and even complete everyday tasks. Jun had been complaining about her deteriorating vision for quite some time and her family believed that it was due to a refractive error.
When Jun and her family became aware of the Tej Kohli and Ruit Foundation visiting their village they were keen to have Jun assessed. It was here that she was screened by the team who found that she had been living with cataracts — the most common form of needless and curable blindness.
Jun was then invited to attend a Tej Kohli and Ruit Foundation surgical camp in the nearby area of Chame in Manang. She walked the distance to reach the camp where she was then successfully cured. Her surgery, along with 61 others, was conducted by Dr Sanduk Ruit, co-founder of the Tej Kohli and Ruit Foundation.
Without the camp set up by the Tej Kohli and Ruit Foundation, patients would have had to travel several miles over the course of two days from the remote hills of Manang to the nearest hospital in Bharatpur, Chitwan.
Often visiting a hospital is not an option for those living in remote communities. This is due to treatment often costing much more than the patient can afford. This is why the Tej Kohli and Ruit Foundation intervene and offer free treatment to those suffering.
Hadn’t the screening and outreach camp arrived in her district, Jun and ten others from her village would have continued to live a life of needless blindness.