Turkish doctor operates thousands of eyes in Africa
A Turkish doctor has been carrying out eye surgeries on thousands of patients in Africa for more than a decade.
Dr. İnayet Andı has been practicing optometry for 17 years, while his journey in Africa with governmental and non-governmental organizations began in 2007.
Andı has visited Africa more than 20 times, training health care workers, operating on over 2,000 patients and performing thousands of examinations in Sudan, Kenya, Chad, Mauritania, Senegal, Niger and Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon.
Andı told state-run Anadolu Agency that his first trip to Africa was to Sudanese capital Khartoum through Istanbul-based Humanitarian Relief Foundation (IHH), where he conducted cataract surgeries for 15 days.
He said during his time in Khartoum, he trained two local doctors to perform Phacoemulsification, a modern type of cataract surgery.
“When I went back to Khartoum two years later, I learned that Dr. Mohammad Ehab, whom I taught the Phaco technique, had performed 5,000-6,000 cataract surgeries and taught it [Phaco] to seven or eight people in the last two years,” Andı said.
“It has been a source of motivation to me. You train someone and that person performs surgery on 5,000-6,000 people in a year in one country and trains others,” he added.
Andı went on to say the number of optometrists were very few in Africa, including Niger, which has a population of 20 million with only 16 optometrists.
He said he also trained nine doctors to perform Phacoemulsification in Kenya, Mauritania, Senegal, and lastly, Niger.
“These doctors, who learned Phaco, have helped thousands of patients gain the ability to see again. They have also become agents to spread the light by teaching other doctors what they have learned,” Andi added.