A statement from Dooley Intermed International/Operation Restore Vision
April 27, 2015
Forty-eight hours before our team of ophthalmologists were to depart to Kathmandu for the Restore Vision Expedition, a devastating earthquake struck the capital city with loss of life in the thousands. The epicenter of the quake was in Upper Gorkha, the planned location for the Dooley Intermed/Operation Restore Vision eye camp set to open next week. This project has now been postponed.
Our partner, Himalaya Eye Hospital (HEH), has informed us that Upper Gorkha has had many injuries and much infrastructure damage such that the cooperative project we envisioned is simply not possible at this time. We have offered our team of doctors to HEH but they report very few people seeking care for eye injuries caused by the earthquake, most likely because of other more severe trauma.
It is a very difficult decision, but our team must be part of the solution, not an addition to the problem. Haiti was a prime example of how not to render aid, with numerous teams showing up with no infrastructure to support them, and no facility to work in. While we all want to jump in and help, we have been advised by our local contacts in Nepal to postpone our planned project until conditions are under control and we can deliver care effectively. Typically after a disaster like this orthopedic surgeons are in the highest demand due to crushing injuries and need for amputation.
In the meantime Dooley Intermed has transferred funds to our Kathmandu based agent, Mission Himalaya, so that we can react swiftly to provide vital assistance as targeted situations to provide aid are identified. We will stand ready to assist as much as possible, and wherever possible. Donations are being accepted at www.dooleyintermed.org
While we are thankful our trusted colleagues in Nepal are reported safe, it pains us greatly to think of the loss of life among their friends and family. They will be in our prayers.
Ronald C. Gentile