Written by Shuhan Wang, MS4

Hey everyone! Today, we helped remove cataracts for 21 more patients and distribute 150 eye glasses in an abandoned school thirty minutes outside of Riobamba! I met two interesting young cousins in their early 40s, Jose and Carlos, who have retinitis pigmentosa (RP), a genetic condition that results in progressive loss of peripheral vision and night vision. Jose and Carlos presented with cataracts which affected their central visions. Sadly, cataract combined with RP means that their sight was steadily disappearing! Carlos suffered from sharp pain in his eye for 15 years with worsening blurry vision before he could finally find help and learn about his conditions. Our operations today would allow both cousins to regain some of their central visions and hopefully improve their daily life, independence, and functionality to be able to provide for their families again! Just in case you were wondering, our post-operative patients have been doing very very well! I am so happy for the progress they are making.

By the way, I have learned a new favorite term of endearment. It’s “doctorita”!Some of our patients refer to me as such, and I really like it because it makes me feel very familiar and personable to them! I have also been told that people are actually following these blog posts and like what they are seeing! Thank you so much for your continued interest and attention. It is really my honor to bring some of our stories from Ecuador to everyone. If you have any feedback, comments, or questions, please do not hesitate to get in touch! I gladly welcome all of them and would love to share more. Thank you again!

On a side note, due to the many time-consuming patient records problems that we encounter during the days, I have come to realize the usefulness of electronic medical record (EMR) systems in developing country settings and non-profit service platforms. Back in the United States, many medical professionals constantly complain about minor details or glitches regarding the EMRs, but we take for granted the many powerful tools of data capture, analysis, and even crucial safety measures they provide clinicians and neglect the importance of consolidating complex healthcare records methodically. Our Promise to Peru missions have created opportunities for a vast amount of clinical data that could be studied and analyzed to extract helpful clinical information. Looking forward, I would really love to help develop an easy-to-implement, mobile EMR system for medical/surgical missions in less resourceful places around the world. Just something I thought about before heading to sleep and begin dreaming about papa fritas in Spanish! Enjoy mas fotos por el momento, por favor (please enjoy more photos for now)!