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Doctor Restores Vision of 100,000 People in Asia and Africa

Focusing on remote areas of Asia and Africa, ophthalmologist Dr. Sanduk Ruit is doing remarkable work to eliminate curable blindness. Co-Founder of the Himalayan Cataract Project (http://www.cureblindness.org), Ruit provides care in areas which have little or no access to medical services. Working in harsh conditions and makeshift quarters, he and his team perform cataract surgery and other treatments for the blind. Dr. Ruit is prolific: in the past 30 years, he has personally restored the sight of more than 100,000 people. Perhaps even more importantly, he has taught his fast, efficient technique to doctors all over the world.

Ruit points out that blindness affects nearly 50 million people in the world, and insists that bringing medical services to isolated places like this is crucial: “Can you imagine yourself closing your eyes like this and staying [that way] for more than seven years in a remote area, up in the hills in a small bamboo house?”

You can see the CNN photojournal here. Ruit also narrates “Out of the Darkness,” a moving documentary that follows the doctor and his team to a remote village in the Himalayan hills and chronicles their dedicated work. Director Stefano Levi elaborates: “It is an independent documentary about Nepali eye-surgeon Dr. Sanduk Ruit and and his American colleague Dr. Geoff Tabin, who trek to a remote village in the Himalayas carrying an entire hospital on a porter’s back….with $25 and five minutes per blinded eye, they restore the sight of cataract-blinded people in developing countries with a quality that equals Western standards.”

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