Dr. Ashvin Patel provides needed services for poor in India
Ashvin Patel, MD, Assistant Professor in the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine has been involved with Gujarat Project of Combat Blindness Foundation since 2005. Following is his brief synopsis of this important program:
“Dr. Suresh Chandra, founder and president of CBF, was interested in extending CBF activities in Gujarat. The opportunity came up when my brother-in-law, Dr. Yashwant Patel and sister Surekha, built their retirement home in the area where they spend approximately five months every year. Both of them are actively involved in Gujarat Project. India is my ancestral homeland and my family originates from state of Gujarat. My grandfather immigrated to Kenya in early part of 20th century and where I grew up.
One hears of recent prosperity in India. It is one of the fastest growing economies in the world. Yet there are large pockets of poverty, where a family sustains on less than two dollars per day. They have limited access to health care. The incidence of un-operated cataracts is high. Our efforts are concentrated in these areas.
Since year 2005, I travel to India every year in February for one month to monitor the seven cataract surgery programs. We provide a complete kit for each surgery which includes all the material needed for preoperative, intra operative and post operative care. An intra ocular lens is implanted. At present, we support 2500 cataract surgeries per year and the program is progressively expanded. A pilot project to prevent malnutrition has also been started for pre- school children to prevent permanent blindness from Vitamin A deficiency.
I am the coordinator for the Gujarat Project. My activities involve monitoring these programs to ensure high quality of care. I am also responsible for all correspondence related to the project, obtain data on patients operated on, scout for new centers and assist in fund raising activities.”
(The attached brochure provides further information)