Optometrists are needed to join the 2016 Eyes4Everest mission, which will be working to prevent avoidable blindness in the eastern regions of Mount Everest National Park from 16 October – 2 November this year.
This will be the third Eyes4Everest mission to deliver a free eye-screening program to Sherpas living in the National Park. In October 2015 five optometrists and three assistants screened 472 adults and children across four villages in the western region of the National Park. They dispensed 108 pairs of spectacles and 50 topical medications, and identified 40 patients who required cataract surgery. Having also identified many patients with UV related ocular damage such as snow blindness and pterygium, plans are underway to dispense polarised sunglasses in 2016.
Speaking of the eye-screening program undertaken in the National Park, optometrist Jenny Hsieh who joined the 2014 and 2015 missions said, “The experience was life changing for me. The Sherpa people are so happy and friendly. Many of the guides gave up their own time to help us where they could. It is a unique and unforgettable experience for everyone involved, with the added benefit of improving fitness!”
A documentary film of the 2015 Mission is currently in production. Eyes4Everest is sponsored by Opticare, CR Surfacing and the Australasian College of Behavioural Optometrists.