Dr. Sanduk Ruit named Asian Of the Year 2007!!!
December 31, 2006 3:03am CST
Dr. Sanduk Ruit was named Asian of the Year 2007 by Readers Digest Asia!! You may wonder who on Earth is he, so here you go: Dr. Sanduk Ruit, MD Dr. Sanduk Ruit grew up in a remote village in Eastern Nepal. He was educated in India and completed his three-year ophthalmology residency at the prestigious All India Institute of Medical Sciences in Delhi, India. He also completed fellowships in microsurgery in the Netherlands and Australia as well as additional ophthalmic training at the Wilmer Eye Institute of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and the University of Michigan. Dr. Ruit met Professor Fred Hollows from Sydney, Australia in 1986 when Hollows visited Nepal as a World Health Organization consultant. He went on to study with him for 14 months at Sydney’s Prince of Wales Hospital. Hollows was Ruit’s mentor and an inspiration to him. The two men believed in the right of people with treatable blindness to have their sight restored, and that people in developing countries deserved access to the same quality of care and technology as those in the Developed World. They shared an ambitious vision: the elimination of avoidable blindness in the Himalayan region, a process they believed needed to be driven by local people. When Dr. Ruit returned to Nepal he was instrumental in the formation of the Nepal Eye Program and worked on a large epidemiological survey of blindness in Nepal. He was the first Nepali doctor to perform cataract surgery with intraocular lens implants and pioneered the use of microsurgical extra-capsular cataract extraction with posterior chamber lens implants in remote eye camps. Although other important international organizations sponsored eye camps in the region providing eye care and training local ophthalmologists, the camps established by Dr. Ruit were the first to introduce the use of intraocular lenses in cataract surgery. Put simply, this is the removal of the cataract and insertion of a plastic intraocular lens. Before this, people who had cataract surgery in Nepal were given crude, Coke bottle-thick glasses that allowed only a poor quality of vision with terrible distortions in peripheral vision that made life on uneven trails difficult. Moreover, if the glasses were lost or broken the patients were unable to focus and again rendered blind. Dr. Ruit later developed a sutureless form of the surgery, a technique that allows safe, high-volume, low-budget operations. A masterful surgeon, he can perform dozens of flawless cataract operations at eye camps over a 12-hour day – and laugh over a meal with his team at the end of it. Dr. Ruit insists on high standards from everyone and always raises the bar for his own work, an attitude that gains him enormous respect from all who work with him. Dr. Ruit helped found the Tilganga Eye Centre, the Nepal Eye Program and its Australian counterpart, Nepal Eye Program Australia (NEPA). Using Tilganga as his base of operations, Ruit continues to upgrade the state of eye care in Nepal, training surgeons and paramedics, and furthering his vision to cure blindness throughout the Himalayas. Doctors Ruit and Tabin have been teaching their cataract surgery technique at the American Academy of Ophthalmology and at the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgeons annual meetings.