Feb 2018 – Comprehensive Eye Camp – Central Nallamala forest
Lokana, Rural Development Trust, and Goutami Eye Institute partnered to conduct a compehensive eye camp in 3 large villages along the main road and one village deep in the forest. Harsha went to the villages 1 week prior to the camp to spread the word. (FIG: Planning with Malliah), He also went to the RDT and met the officer in charge, Mr. Rafiq, and his team of health workers. Coincidentally, there was a training session for the Chenchu community health workers – Women from each village had been brough to the RDT headquarters to learn about women’s health and pediatrics. Harsha, Ms.Naveena, and Ms.Sharada as well as Mr. Rafiq spoke to the women about brining their families and communities to the camps. (A typical day in the camp)
On the night before the camp, we me to “walk through” the camp, assigning a role to each member of the team. After many months of planning, the first comprehensive eye camp was conducted in the Chinthala school. The community were enthusiastic and helpful. We screened over 200 people that day, with XX requiring glasses, (READING GLASSES story), VISION TESTING story, signed up for surgery, and XX requiring additional medical treatment. Fine tuning the process from the lessons we learned, we conducted additional camps in Thummalabailu, Marripalem, and Peccheruvu.
The village of Peccheruvu is the most remote hamlet in this region – The village has a fascinating history and (SEE History). It remains without electricity or running water, and poverty is even higher than among the villages along the main road. We were honored to be joined by Mr. Srirappa., (TITLE) of RDT. To reach the village, we had to obtain special permission from the Forest Department, and we traveled by jeep along the forest roads. Bamboo forests, grasslands covered the hillsides on either side of us.
We returned to RDT headquarters in Dornala to finalize the plan for follow-up care after the camp. Our team was both exhausted from the long days and energized by the success of our first camp! (See Summary in 2018 Report)