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Year : 1987  |  Volume : 35  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 109

Rural operating camps - legal control is necessary

CBM Oph. Institute, Little Flower Hospital, Angamally-683 572 Kerala, India

Correspondence Address:
S Tony Fernandez
CBM Oph. Institute, Little Flower Hospital, Angamally-683 572 Kerala
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

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How to cite this article:
Fernandez S T. Rural operating camps - legal control is necessary. Indian J Ophthalmol 1987;35:109

How to cite this URL:
Fernandez S T. Rural operating camps - legal control is necessary. Indian J Ophthalmol [serial online] 1987 [cited 2022 Aug 15];35:109. Available from: https://www.ijo.in/text.asp?1987/35/3/109/27314

Certain recommendations have been made by the Society for Prevention of Blindness on the safe approach to eye camp surgery in the last issue of the journal. A recommendation of its nature to prevent blindness occurring in eye camps only shows that all is not well in the present set up of the eye camp surgeries. Eye camps should not turn up as centers creating blindness. Repeated eye camp tragedies in the last few years have created doubts and anxieties both among the public as well as among the doctors regarding the safety of such camps

I congratulate the society for the recommend­ations and I am sure if strictly followed such tragedies can be prevented But it is doubtful whether these recommendations can be imple­mented in word and spirit in large camps conduc­ted in rural surroundings, and whether the moni­toring as suggested by the society can be practi­cally implemented.

7.5 Million back log of cataract especially in the rural areas is a tragic fact We should also accept that there are lack of basic medical facilities and insufficient ophthalmic personnel to tackle such problems in the villages But operating large number of cases in make-shift sheds, shamianas and schools, where basic necessities are lacking is not the answer to this problem It is time that we should have a change in the basic thinking on such camps and suggest long term solutions of their problems

In many centres in the south, operating in the rural camps have been given-up or done only under compelling circumstances. The patients are either brought to the base hospital or satellite hospitals in the villages run by the base hospital and operated Patients are transported to and fro if necessary. The number of the operations will be small but the frequency would be more. Therefore the number operated in an year will not be less but may be more than the targeted number. Large number of tragedies can thus be avoided

The only objection that may be leveled against this proposal would be financial commitment To create satellite operation centres with all basic facilities may need larger initial investment But with the help of voluntary organizations and encouragement from the government I am sure this can be implemented. Staff from the base hospital can go to the villages on rotation.

The All India Ophthalmological Society should take up with the Governments the following recommendations

1. Draw-up laws and regulations preventing unqualified personnel conducting the camps and making it punishable to conduct camps without the basic facilities The recommend­ations of the NSPB should be taken as guide­lines to draw-up the rules and regulations

2. At every state the government should choose a committee perhaps consisting of the Health Service Director, Medical Officers and members of voluntary organizations and renowned ophthalmologists of the state.

3. Encourage or build satellite centres or hospitals in large villages. These centres can be under the care of medical colleges or other base hospitals run by voluntary organizations

The government should give financial aid and other encouragement to volunteer organizations which are willing to build permanent hospitals or operating centres in the villages

Operating hundreds of patients in rural setting without basic facilities should be banned I have invited experienced leaders of the profession to offer their views I am sure some of you may have your own views Please write to us We will try to publish selected letters for and against such camps.


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