2015 mission to Nepal
July 1, 2015
NEW YORK, N.Y. (February 19, 2015) – Blindness is a severe public health problem in Nepal, especially in the remote mountain villages. This spring the Dooley Intermed International 2015 Restore Vision Expedition will provide free eye examinations, eyeglasses and sight-restoring surgeries to villagers in the Upper Gorkha region of Nepal from May 1 to 10, 2015.
Due to the extremely remote location and lack of roads, the team will travel on foot across mountain trails while transporting equipment using a mule caravan, according to Dooley Intermed president Scott Hamilton, expedition leader.
“We will take all comers and treat everyone free of charge. A multi-day eye screening camp will be established in the central village of Machhakhola, including a field surgery clinic with skilled surgeons providing cataract operations and related ophthalmic treatment. Screening will also be conducted at a primary school in the village of Lapu Besi,” Hamilton said.
The eye and vision team will examine and treat 1,500 to 1,800 villagers in need of eye care, including comprehensive eye screening, refraction, prescription eyeglasses, cataract and other ophthalmic surgeries.
Primary team members are: Scott Hamilton, COT, expedition leader; Sanjay Kedhar, M.D. and Harsha Reddy, M.D., New York Eye & Ear Infirmary of Mt. Sinai, New York; Indira Kairam, M.D., Mt. Sinai St. Lukes, New York; Omar Ozgur, M.D., University of Texas, M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston; Christopher Teng, M.D., Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven; filmmaker Daniel Byers, Skyship Films; and Jeff Blumenfeld, communications director, Expedition News.
This effort will be coordinated closely with partner organizations including U.S. eye surgeons and technicians from ISMS-Operation Restore Vision, and Dooley’s Nepal-based partners including: Pema Ts’al Sakya Monastic Institute, providing student volunteers as trilingual interpreters and eye camp assistants; Himalaya Eye Hospital providing an eye screening team and surgeon, medical and ophthalmological supplies, surgical equipment, eyeglasses; Mission Himalaya facilitating logistics and in–country arrangements; and the local Nepal chapter ofLions International.
The Gorkha District of Nepal, located northwest of the capital city of Kathmandu, is connected historically with the name of the legendary Gurkha soldiers. It is along a trekking route and is home to Manaslu, the eighth highest mountain in the world (26,781 ft.).
In addition to Dooley Intermed International, the expedition is sponsored by ISMS-Operation Restore Vision (www.ismission.org/operation-restore-vision/), Sherpa Adventure Gear which is providing Nepal-manufactured outdoor apparel for the team (www.sherpaadventuregear.com), and Eureka High Camp Tents by Johnson Outdoors (www.eurekatent.com).
Supporters are: DeLorme inReach Explorer Two-Way Satellite Communicator with built-in Navigation, and Power Practical Portable Chargers.
Dooley Intermed’s 2011 Gift of Sight Expedition to the Upper Mustang region was featured in the award-winning documentary titled Visions of Mustang (2012), by director Daniel Byers and produced by Skyship Films.