A Nepalese doctor takes an Indonesian woman under his tutelage and brings the gift of sight to the world’s destitute.
Nepal’s Himalayan mountain range is one of the most picturesque places in the world. But its stunning beauty is fading from view for many of the villagers who call the region home. Exposure to ultraviolet rays at such high altitudes is causing many to lose their sight.
Ophthalmologist Dr Sanduk Ruit has made it his life mission to bring sight to everyone who needs it, regardless of their ability to pay. Known in Nepal as the “God of Sight”, Ruit has helped more than 100,000 people blinded by cataracts see again. His surgeries often take him into the remote mountains, where patients are too poor and weak to travel to his clinic in the capital, Kathmandu.
In such isolated landscapes, the doctor and his team set up eye camps, performing free, astonishingly fast surgeries using a stitch-free simple surgical technique called ‘Ruitectomy’, which he pioneered. The procedure is now replicated across the developing world.
His assembly line-like surgeries are astonishingly fast. During his time in the Bamti district, he aims to complete 50 surgeries each day while doctors in the West only do 10 to 15 on a busy day.
Now, a young female doctor from a remote Indonesian island is travelling to the Himalayas for a month-long boot-camp with Dr Ruit, hoping to acquire the skills to bring back the gift of sight to her people.
From Nepal to Indonesia, 101 East visits communities paralysed by preventable blindness and meets the doctors whose mission is to restore sight, and more importantly hope.