A few weeks ago a team of 12 health professionals returned from an ophthalmology outreach in Vanuatu.
We were on Tanna Island which is a half hour flight south of Port Vila. We spent the whole outreach in Lenakel hospital. Lenakel is the main town on Tanna but is really just a collection of villages. It is on the coast. The population is approximately 20 000. Some patients travelled for hours in trucks on bumpy roads and stayed for a few nights at the hospital.
Yagia (pictured above), a 65 year old lady had no vision for 3 years before she came to see us. When we first met her she was only able to perceive light in each eye. She was unable to do anything apart from sitting at home. No cooking or washing. She had bilateral cataract surgery and by the time we left, just over a week later, she was able to read the 6/9 with each eye (that’s good enough to drive!).r hours in trucks on bumpy roads and stayed for a few nights at the hospital.
Lesbeth came in using a stick, unsteady on her feet. We were concerned about how the surgery went but she was delighted and was seen dancing without her stick! The right eye went from counting fingers to 6/7.5. This photo on the left shows Lesbeth with Dr Kasso and Sharon, our post op nurse.