From dense cataracts at birth to an active teenager, Orbis supports the restoration of vision of a young boy

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●He was a 4-month-old infant at the time of surgery,

●Now a cricket enthusiast, 15-year-old Ankush is leading a normal life.

New Delhi, 26th July, 2022:- A 15-year-old teenager who was born with dense cataracts in both eyes is now leading a normal life after the team at Vivekananda Mission Asram Netra Niramay Niketan (VMANNN) in West Bengal, performed successful surgery on both his eyes when he was just 4 months old. Ankush, now an aspiring engineer and cricket enthusiast, was brought to the clinic more than 14 years ago after the vision defects were observed. The pressing surgery was performed at the pediatric eye care center at VMANNN, established with Orbis support and equipped with essential equipment and pediatric anesthesia facilities. Since 1988, Orbis in India has been working closely with a network of 37 partner hospitals, to treat and prevent avoidable blindness, especially among children.”Performing cataract surgery on a child is not a miniature version of adult surgery. It requires specialized instrumentation, expertise, and experience on the part of the surgeon. It demands urgency of treatment, along with far greater precision.,”

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Noted Dr. Rishi Raj Borah, Country Director for Orbis in India.There is also the risk of amblyopia, also known as lazy eye, if the surgery is delayed. As Dr. Asim Sil, Medical Director, VMANNN explained, “If the light doesn’t enter the eye, the vision doesn’t develop in a child. So, if the surgery is delayed and done at a later age, there is a high tendency that the brain hasn’t learned how to see. Hence, such delayed surgery will not produce the desired result.”Dr. Sil operated on one of Ankush’s eyes first and operated on the other a few days later. The surgical team followed the usual practice for children younger than two years where the cataracts are removed without the implantation of intraocular lenses. Young Ankush was issued thick glasses that helped him see and move around easily like other children.The surgeons waited until Ankush was three years old before the intraocular lenses were implanted. The eye care team at VMANNN continued to manage his situation as his sight continued to improve. At the age of 15, he excels in school and, can read from a smartphone. His mother complains in good-humor that Ankush is always playing cricket, and not paying much attention to his studies.”It was so heartening to see that he is able to throw a ball so high and catching it again and again without missing, this indicates that Ankush has perfect binocularity,” added Dr. Sil.This inspiring story is a ray of hope at the end of the tunnel in a country like India where many children are unable to undergo cataract surgery at the right time, particularly due to the lack of adequate medical services in many parts of the country.The delighted Ankush, who dreams of becoming an engineer and a cricketer, is a happy chap, full of life and energy with no complications recorded. “This success inspires us to do more work and drives our passion for excellence,” remarked Dr. Sil.Orbis continues to draw strength from abounding testimonies across the country, giving the team impetus and motivation to continue to work in its bid to reduce avoidable blindness among children in India.
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