In early November, Mr Mearza was part of a team of surgeons, nurses and technicians who went to Phnom Penh in Cambodia as part of a charitable mission with the Khmer Sight Foundation.
Cambodia has a chronic shortage of ophthalmic surgeons which has meant that the country has a huge problem with treatable blindness from cataracts.
The Khmer Sight Foundation was established to help treat blindness in the country. Through its links around the World, surgeons from all over the globe have given up their time and offered their expertise to help.
Four of the surgical team on this visit including Mr Mearza carried out a similar mission in Ghana in 2009. It was great to have the old team re-united and to catch up on everyone’s news. Eight years is a long time and many have got married and have had several children in that time!
In Cambodia the team saw patients in the clinic and carried out cataract surgery, pterygium surgery and essential eyelid surgery on a number of patients during their visit. The surgical equipment was of a high standard with microscopes and ultrasound machines donated by Ophthalmic companies supporting the cause.
Many of the cataracts were so dense that the standard technique of ultrasound could not be used. In these scenarios, the surgeons had to revert to using a manual technique of ‘small incision extra-capsular cataract excision’ to allow for the safe extraction of the cataract. The experience of the surgical team meant that this was hugely successful and the patients who could previously not see now had their sight back.
The local team in Cambodia made the team extremely welcome and also provided staff to support the mission.
The trip was a resounding success and the team all look forward to re-uniting in the future for further charitable work.