Postcards from the Field

Sub-specialty training in Indonesia and Myanmar

More postcards

HCP Board Member Dr. Matt Oliva spent a week in Indonesia and a week in Myanmar this month conducting cornea sub-specialty training workshops. In each location, he assisted local ophthalmologists in performing corneal transplants, delivered lectures on corneal surgical techniques, conducted wet lab skills-based training with ophthalmology residents, and lectured on eye banking. Capacity building of local eye care personnel is the cornerstone of HCP’s approach to eliminating needless blindness, and this type of sub-specialty skills transfer is highly important in Indonesia and Myanmar where the blindness rate is high and hundreds of thousands suffer from corneal blindness.

Postmark February 13, 2017

I am just leaving Indonesia and enjoyed my five days working at Rumah Sakit Umum Pusat (RSUP), Dr. Sardjito Eye Hospital and Dr. Yap Eye Hospital in Yogyakarta.

Thank you to Dr. Sanduk Ruit, Dr. Reeta Gurung and others from the Tilganga Institute of Ophthalmology (Kathmandu, Nepal) for all their hard work in establishing a wonderful relationship between Tilganga and RSUP to provide subspecialty training. And a special thank you to the Mr. Shankha Twyana and the Nepal Eye Bank team for providing 10 beautiful quality optical corneas that were put to good use, including a manual dissection DSAEK, that went very well. Most all of the 10 cornea transplants were done on bilaterally blind corneal patients.

In addition to the direct care, I gave a lecture regarding eye banking and SightLife global programs. I look forward to ongoing work, particularly supporting further training in form of corneal fellowships.

Indonesia has 250+ million persons and a blindness rate of >1.5%. Corneal blindness is the fifth leading cause of blindness, with estimates of 250,000 corneal blind throughout the country.

Postmark February 26, 2017

I enjoyed working at Yangon Eye Hospital this past week where we had a very successful corneal training exchange.

Working together with the two fellowship-trained corneal surgeons, we completed 11 DSAEK, 1 DMEK, 3 DALK, and 3 PKP surgeries. We had a crowd of about 20 residents and junior faculty watching on the monitor and in the OR. On the last day, we used the 10 research tissues provided by SightLife to practice manual dissection DSAEK, DMEK prep and use of the Geuder injector, big bubble DALK, and corneal trephination and suturing. I gave a lecture about eye banking and SightLife.

The 12 tissues from SightLife arrived flawlessly and were handled by the Yangon Eye Bank (YEB) which is located at the eye hospital. The YEB provided 6 locally procured corneas. We prepared all but two of the DSAEK tissues using an amadeus microkeratome in the OR which worked very well.

There is a waiting list here of close to 1,000 patients for grafts. In 2017, there will be a nationwide blindness survey and we will get better numbers of corneal blindness. Having also worked in a remote area on cataract care on this trip, I know that the numbers of people suffering from corneal blindness is significant.

Make a difference today!

Never underestimate the impact you can have on someone's life. A $25 donation can give someone their sight back. Do something good today and share it with others.

Donate Now