By Suman Ramesh, a member of the Rotary Club of Lago-Palm Grove Estate, Lagos, Nigeria
Seeing the joy on people’s faces when they receive their sight back is an unforgettable experience.
Every year, the Rotary Club of Lagos-Palm Grove Estate, Lagos, Nigeria, sponsors an eye camp with medical staff from the Eye Institute in Navsari, India, treating nearly a thousand patients in the Nigerian states of Lagos and Ogun spread over 10 days. Patients are screened and pre-surgery tests conducted for four to five weeks prior to the camp, drawing crowds of needy people, many of them suffering cataracts and similar eye conditions.
This year, the West Africa Project Fair was held in Lagos, Nigeria. The fair draws together hundreds of Rotarians from all over Africa, the Middle East, England, the United States, and other countries to showcase their projects and search for partners. We saw an opportunity to schedule our eye camp to coincide with the project fair, to let some of the attendees join us in hands-on service.
On World Sight Day, 10 October, visiting Rotarians including RI Director Gideon Peiper from Israel helped hand out dark protective sun glasses to patients recovering from cataract surgery. Many of these patients had lost all hope of ever seeing again. Their joy, when they receive back their sight (and dignity) knows no bounds.
That day, and our eye camp, turned out to be more special than ever.