Indian Journal of Ophthalmology

: 1989  |  Volume : 37  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 49-


VK Raju 
 909 Hickory, Morgantown, WV 26505, USA

Correspondence Address:
V K Raju
909 Hickory, Morgantown, WV 26505

How to cite this article:
Raju V K. Letter.Indian J Ophthalmol 1989;37:49-49

How to cite this URL:
Raju V K. Letter. Indian J Ophthalmol [serial online] 1989 [cited 2020 Nov 24 ];37:49-49
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Dear Editor

You are to be commended on the quality of your journal, especially Volume 36, No.2, April, May June 1988. I had occasion to examine this issue of the Indian Journal of Oph­thalmology and found it to be of superb quality throughout.

In perusing this particular issue, the letters regarding eye camps on pages 105 and 106 were so interesting that I am constrained to comment herewith. I too am very interested in ophthalmic health care and delivery and have been a partici­pant in the eye camp endeavor in India for more than ten years.

My particular efforts have been concentrated on reaching afflicted pediatric patients which have taken on massive proportions in rural India [1],[2],[3]

Drs. Rajasekharan's and Daniel's comments are well taken and we are certainly on common ground in so far as our objectives in preventing blindness in India are concerned.

The purpose of an eye camp is to provide patients, living in remote areas, the opportunity to receive quality, inexpensive treatment that would otherwise be unavailable. Eye camps have per force been organised, managed, and conducted on a "crash-program" basis as the only practical way of reaching patients afflicted with cataracts. In the absence of any reason­able alternative, the eye camp concept seems to be the only piratical method of bringing visual relief to rural Indians.

If the term eye camp does indeed carry the stigma of lay care, as Professor Daniel points out in his letter, then it is only because the administrators of these camps have been lax in maintaining an acceptable level of health care. It is not because they are eye camps per se. I have no doubt the same dubious sobriquet can be applied to certain modern hospital which have permitted their level of quality to slip.

After my years of being closely involved with eye camps, I am the first to admit that they are not without shortcomings. But, in my experience, the advantages far our weigh the unpleasant results. Although postoperative complications in the mobile clinics and eye camps have been high, this can easily be corrected with the use of permanent facilities in targeted areas, mass-screening procedures for patient selection, the necessary supplies and equipment, and genuine commitment by trained and qualified manpower.

I content that any problems associated with eye camps are solvable. Until cataract surgery is accessible to remote areas and affordable for all those needing surgery, eye camps remain the only way to reach all of India's people. Yours truly,


1Raju, V.K. Ketamine Anesthesia in Pediatric Ophthalmic Surgery. Journal of Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus. 17:292-296, 1980
2Raju,V.K.etal. WVU Goes to India for Visual Survey and Treatment Project. West Virginia Medical Journal. 77:252-259, Oct. 1981.
3Raju, V.K. Cataract Surgery in an Eye Camp in a Developing Country. Journal of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh. 26:344-347, Nov. 1981.