The following information has been submitted by District 3080 PDG and 2013-16 DRFC Madhukar Malhotra. We thank him for his contribution!
Editors Note: English is a second language for Rotarian Malhortra and we have not attempted to correct grammatical or typographical errors. We can only imagine how one of our messages might translate into his native language. Language difficulties aside, we believe his message is clear.
Sustainability needs to be defined & interpreted with flexibility - surgery for life saving is not included but saves lives or allows for a near normal lifespan - Life saving programs like Gift of Life program need to be retained for not just for children up to 5 years but all those whose lives can be saved or relieved of pain/suffering mitigated
Medical Missions conducting surgery , relieving patients of misery & possibly saving lives should be allowed to continue without conditions of training etc of locals - you just cant pass on surgical skills learned over a decade or more in a week ten days but yes guide & train locals for post operative care Yes, that is ok but FV disallows such surgical missions on first reading of FV Areas of Focus - Statements of Purpose and Goals
How can skills gained by a surgeon over 10-15 years be imparted in a week/ten day duration of a surgical medical mission. The long lasting benefits of a longer, healthier productive life of those treated should cover the sustainability factor as also for life saving congenital corrective heart surgery to replace a valve or TRF or close a hole in the heart without which the patient would lead a short stunted life.
For a person blind with Cataract an IOL operation is the only answer, counseling does not help him, helping a person regain his eyesight is a great example of sustainability. Do you deny the benefit of sight and a normal dignified life to thousands because of FV eligibility guidelines being too rigid on sustainability definition?
A life saving surgery that allows a person to live a normal life or a surgery that brings relief from continuous pain of suffering like hernia, fistula, prolapsed uterus, a infected tooth... or restores dignity of a deformed or burn patient with orthopedic or plastic surgery ... are these not sustainable ?
Why is TRF / FV rejecting these applications & asking for addition of equipment or education - cost & complications - benefits - nil to negligible, the equipment will lie unused as we see in very many underdeveloped countries... the measurable sustainable benefits to the individual & their families/communities should be the criterion for eligibility.
Madhukar Malhotra DRFC 3080 2013-16
Thank you Madhukar, we couldn't agree more!