BAGON, Myanmar • Five decades of isolation, military rule and woeful health care have left Myanmar with a particularly high rate of blindness. Now the veil of darkness is starting to lift, thanks in part to an “assembly line” surgical procedure that allows cataracts to be removed safely, without stitches, through two small incisions
Nepalese surgeon Sandut Ruit, who helped pioneer the technique, oversaw nearly 1,300 operations at two massive eye camps in 10 days in October, with dozens of local ophthalmologists looking on and helping.
Despite improvements over the last two decades, the vast majority still use a microincision surgical technique that requires two sutures. Doctors were confident the no-stitch procedure — cheap, easy to learn and taking as little as five minutes — would catch on quickly.
“This is a turning point in our cataract history,” said Dr. Tin Win, the chief of Yangon Eye Hospital. He said his goal is to have all 60 eye centers in the nation of 60 million using the procedure by the end of next year. He says he will pass on the information to all doctors, together with training manuals and videos, at a nationwide eye conference in early November. more…