On January 19th, 2016 the final cataract surgery program for the winter of 2015-16 was held at the Vivekanand Mission Hospital, Maharajganj near Bhodohi, a small village outside Varanasi. With this camp the 100 free surgeries offered each winter by Sai Maa Vishnu Shakti Trust were completed. In fact, this year 16 additional surgeries were completed due to higher demand from people in need of the surgery to regain independence and confidence in their daily lives.
After the final checks, 26 operations were performed. The surgeries began at 3.30 in the afternoon and the surgeons finished at 11.00pm, at which time the doctors were given a meal and driven back to their residences in Varanasi. The patients all remained at the Vivekanand Mission Hospital overnight before their bandages were removed and a final examination performed before they left the hospital. Medicines, food and gift bags were handed out, along with detailed instructions on self-care, medications and the follow-up medical care that would be provided.
Many of the elderly patients were still a little dazed and disoriented at the morning instruction group, however each had a caregiver with them to ensure that the instructions were understood and followed. The hospital team will now be doing their follow-ups and ensuring the patients have sufficient medication and ointments over the following month, thus maintaining the high quality of the Sai Maa Cataract Surgery program.
This 2015-16 program has again been possible through the support from the global Sai Maa community, and the hard work and dedication of the skilled team from our partners, Vivekanand Mission. The gift of sight to a rural villager is life-changing not just for the recipient, but also for the entire family who are freed from worry over the security and mental well-being of their loved family member. Thank you to each person who has been part of this year’s program.