Global Cataract Relief Foundation will establish Outreach Surgical Eye Clinics (OSEC) in rural areas of developing countries to treat severely underserved populations, who are currently unable to access medical treatment. GCR will equip each OSEC with the necessary infrastructure and surgical equipment, and provide volunteer United States surgeons and ophthalmology residents to both teach and perform manual micro incisional cataract surgery (MSICS), the preferred surgical technique for cataract extraction in a rural environment.
For the past twenty years, ophthalmology residents in the United States have not typically been taught manual cataract extraction surgical techniques, but rather, are trained solely on phacoemulsification techniques. It is becoming increasingly difficult to acquire surgeons skilled in such manual techniques, which is crucial for continued medical mission work as well as for providing surgical skill transfers to residents in other countries. By teaching both the medical residents in-country and those ophthalmology residents participating from the USA, many more surgeons will be able to continue this valuable and necessary medical care.
Part of our sustainable approach will be to negotiate with US vendors for surgical supplies at an affordable cost for developing countries, rather than relying solely on donated supplies. Simply relying on donations significantly limits the number of surgeries performed by foreign doctors. A better approach would be to facilitate a financially feasible and sustainable pricing structure for all of the supplies needed for a cataract procedure, thereby allowing for the continuous and uninterrupted flow of medical care.
By partnering with other NGO’s, like those who specialize in engineering, clean water, sanitation, and medical supply procurement, we hope to make the most financially feasible use of all available funds and resources. In many cases, we will attempt to utilize existing clinics, that serve large populations who are in need of cataract surgical services.