Twenty-eight patients were surgically corrected for squint eye in Mauritius, thanks to the Rotarian ophthalmologists from RC Thane, RID 3142. “It all began when Dr Harsha Phatak, an ophthalmologist and a member of RC Phoenix, Mauritius, on a visit to our club recently, discussed about the large number of children suffering from squint eye syndrome in Mauritius. They needed corrective surgery, but the country did not have qualified surgeons to treat them,” said the club’s former President Ajay Kelkar.
Squint eye or Strabismus is a deviation of the eye axis. The visual disorder can be corrected by wearing specially designed spectacles or through a surgery.
Kelkar set the ball rolling and formed a team of two ophthal- mologists — Dr Atul Seth and Dr Siddharth Kesarwani; and four volunteers — Anand Kale, his wife Kalyani Kale, Smita Mahajan and Kelkar himself. Coordinating with members of RC Phoenix, the team performed 28 surgeries and treated 175 children with squint eye at the Subramania Bharathi Government Hospital in Moka, Mauritius.
The project cost ₹45 lakh. “It gave a whole new fillip to us as it enjoyed wide coverage in the media. This also broke the general belief among people there that squint eye treatment will lead to loss of sight,” said Kelkar. The local Rotary club had to break the taboo through intensive campaigning prior to the camp. It is a three-year endeavour and the club intends to follow it up till 2020–21.