Blog by Peace Corps Volunteer, 2011, Tambacounda, Senegal

On February 26th, 2011, Peace Corps Volunteer Amanda wrote her final blog post about the Right to Sight and Health organization. She described her amazing journey and the life-changing experience that she went through while working there as a Peace Corps Volunteer.

Those two weeks in Senegal were some of the best of Amanda’s service. Our non-profit organization “Right to Sight and Health” went to the Tambacounda Regional Hospital with the intention of restoring sight through providing cataract surgeries for those in need, while training a local nurse to continue providing care. Tamba volunteer Anna’s dad, optometrist Rick Alsobrook, joined Right to Sight to do consultations, identifying cataract surgery candidates and checking patients visual acuity to provide glasses or medications to correct vision.

Peace corps volunteers dedicate themselves to serve people. These volunteers try their best to make life beautiful for the ones who are deprived of basic medical and survival facilities. Just like one of the objectives of Right to Sight and Health, Peace Corps’ also promotes diversity. So when these two groups worked together under the supervision of Dr. Judith Simon, the people in Tambacounda, Senegal could see a ray of hope in their own eyes.

It’s funny how only a few steps taken by the right people at the right time can make such a huge impact to so many people’s lives.

The second week, Amanda had the chance to work in the operating room. The job of the volunteers was to get patients ready for surgery by cleaning their eyes with iodine and numbing their eyes with drops. During the surgery, their job was to light the alcohol lamp for cauterization (because we are still in the middle ages here), prepare the implant lens, get the doctors anything they needed, prepare anesthesia for the following patients, clean instruments, etc. When surgery was over they volunteers would give a shot of steroid under the eye, give a series of eye drops and patch the eye. For Amanda, it was a dream to have such hands-on experience in the OR.

peace corps volunteers and Dr Judith Simon with patients
Dr. Judith Simon with a patient

To read the full blog by Amanda that takes you through her amazing journey and experience of working with Right to Sight and Health, please visit- http://amandasenegal.blogspot.com/search?q=eye+clinic