Israeli Doctors Restore Sight to 90 Kyrgyzstanis in Marathon Initiative

Photo credit: Eye from Zion

by Maytal Yasur Beit-Or for Israel Hayom

Volunteer delegation of Israeli medical professionals travel to Kyrgyzstan to treat patients, many of them blind for many years • "Many remain blind only because the doctors in their country don't have the means to treat them," says delegation director.

A group of doctors from Israel restored the eyesight of 90 adults and children in Kyrgyzstan earlier this month in an ambitious endeavor undertaken by the Eye from Zion organization.

Eye from Zion is a volunteer Israeli-Jewish group established to provide medical treatment to underprivileged populations around the world. The organization sends delegations of experienced medical professionals and advanced equipment to places where they are needed most. The Eye from Zion delegations perform surgeries together with local medical teams and instruct local doctors on modern medical techniques.

Many of the patients treated this month in Kyrgyzstan had been blind for years.

The delegation, which included Dr. Yonina Ron from the pediatric ophthalmology team at Schneider Children's Medical Center and Dr. Asher Milstein from Kaplan Medical Center, arrived in Kyrgyzstan a week and a half ago to perform complicated procedures such as cornea surgery, plastic surgery, tumor removal and the treatment of cataracts in children.

Among the patients were several members of the Kyrgyzstani Jewish community, and the head of the Jewish community in the country stressed that the arrival of the Israeli delegation had contributed to elevating the status of the community.

Professor Dov Weinberger, the head of the Ophthalmology Division at the Rabin Medical Center in Petach Tikva and the medical director of the Eye from Zion delegation, remarked: "I get excited every time an Israeli delegation uses its knowledge and medical experience to restore people's eyesight. Many patients remain blind only because the doctors in their countries do not possess the know how or the modern means to perform these surgeries."

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