A team of ophthalmologist from Mumbai and Pune travelled to Kashmir to provide health care services and support to the people who were victims of pellet gun use. They have performed around 1,011 surgeries on the people who have sustained eye injuries. Out of which, 40 patients had injuries in both eyes; they were able to see partially with the help of surgery.
Speaking to My Medical Mantra, Dr S Natarajan, a Mumbai based ophthalmologist, who volunteered to extend help to the victims in Srinagar, stated that eye injuries can lead to partial or total blindness.
“There are around 10,000 pellet victims in a year. Out of these 1,011 victims had eye injuries. The eye is an important organ and it is part of our day-to-day life. And any injuries can damage vision. A lot of people sustain eye injuries during festivals like Holi and Diwali,” said Dr Natarajan.
He further pointed out that the hospital in Srinagar is a world class facility but lacks expertise. “People come here with a lot of hope and the surgeries which occur are major ones, especially if they are eye injuries. After the surgery, most patients take time to regain their vision. Many may even take months but surgeries definitely help in reviving their vision,” said Dr Natarajan.
Dr Dharmendra Patil, an ophthalmologist from Pune, who also works for Borderless World Foundation in Jammu and Kashmir, said that the foundation helps with primary health camps and treatments in the interior of the insurgency areas in Jammu and Kashmir.
“There are fewer doctors and expertise in the violence-hit areas and so the volunteers work alongside doctors in providing basic treatment in Srinagar and other parts of Kashmir,” said Patil.