Throughout the developing world, many suffer at the hands of avoidable or curable blindness. With the lack of resources or access to sufficient healthcare, many fall into a life of inescapable poverty due to their illness. Issues such as cataracts are one of the easiest eye issues to cure – especially in the western world. However, due to this lack of resources in the developing world, many people go untreated. The Tej Kohli and Ruit Foundation has intervened in the developing world and allowed people to have the treatment they need and deserve at the same standard of western medicine.
Placing well-designed support into low-income communities to flourish and grow is something that is important in creating a sustainable future. Using different forms of assistance allows different parts of communities to heal and move away from a life of poverty. Implementing support in the form of healthcare can allow communities to learn and live a healthy, full life. In the case of the Tej Kohli and Ruit Foundation, we have supported communities by curing avoidable blindness to allow people to live with clear vision and be able to work and earn a living- ultimately removing them from a life threatened by poverty.
Intervening in a community can differ from region to region. Often, people are either frightened or unable to understand what the intervention is for. This is where counselling teams can intervene. Giving members of a community the chance to speak to someone and understand why intervention is necessary is vital for the battle against poverty to continue. In one case, the Tej Kohli and Ruit Foundation spoke to a family and discussed how a surgery could benefit their grandmother. After a long conversation, they agreed and brought their grandmother to have the vital surgery needed to cure her blindness. Following this, the grandmother was able to spend time with her grandchildren whilst other family members were able to work and earn money for their family and community.
Often in remote areas there are several generations within one family and one home. Throughout Nepal, we have seen great grandparents down to great grandchildren all living under the same roof. Whilst this is the norm within these communities, families are often left to look after older generations. This can cause major issues when any member of family suffers from cataracts and becomes blind. When one person falls, the rest of the family falls alongside them. Having so many generations depending on each other means that it is becoming increasingly important to ensure that each member of the family has access to sufficient healthcare and resources.
The healing process of the Tej Kohli and Ruit Foundation surgery takes just 24 hours. One day after cataract removal surgery, we remove patients eye patches allowing them the chance to see again. The moment is often filled with emotion. Patients and families come together to celebrate the success of surgery and the second chance at life. Following the physical healing, families and communities begin to heal emotionally and economically. Being given the gift of sight again allows patients to return to work, taking the strain away from families. The dire affects of poverty starts to slip away.
Working closely and together with several partner hospitals across the developing world will allow medical care and staff to learn new methods of diagnosis and operation. Having skilled, educated and equipped healthcare systems will encourage growth among remote communities. So far the Tej Kohli and Ruit Foundation has worked closely with hospitals across Nepal which has created a system of care and created sustainable methods of healthcare along with essential resources needed to treat blindness.
Bringing remote and impoverished communities together and giving them a second chance at life is our main goal. Alleviating the stress of poverty and allowing people to live a prosperous, healthy life is what we are consistently striving for and what we aim to achieve.
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