Last week was a good week to be in Haiti. Dr. Dan Alter and I visited the residency program in Port au Prince along with several other ophthalmologists. In December a new class of four ophthalmology residents began their training and we wanted to be there to help them get off to a good start.
Residency training can be very intense as there are a lot of skills to master in just three years. It is exciting for us to see the progress being made at the residency program. These days we always see some of the recent residency program graduates working at the program to pass on their skills to the current residents.
One very exciting piece of news in that the residency program now has an anesthesia machine. This means that we can now provide general anesthesia at the university hospital (HEUH) in the eye surgery operating suite. This new capability is allowing the program to treat children with cataracts and other eye disease.
During our visit this past week I was able to team up with one of the local ophthalmologists, Dr. Claire Ritza Eugene to treat the cataracts of two children. I am happy to say that all 4 operations where successful!
We have another trip planned in February to visit the residency and to attempt to completely clear the backlog of children with cataracts. This will mean treating at least 20 children, half of whom require surgery on both eyes.