In early August, Dr. Edward (Ned) H. Bedrossian Jr. ’73 spent a week in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, on a volunteer medical mission to operate on the eyes of victims of the Jan. 12, 2010, earthquake.
Bedrossian, an ophthalmologist and ocular surgeon with the Wills Eye Institute of Philadelphia, Pa., saw about 15 patients per day and performed 22 surgical procedures at the Hôpital de l’Université d’Etat d’Haiti during his stay. He also gave lectures on ocular surgery to the doctors and residents in the Department of Ophthalmology at the University of Haiti.
On Aug. 26, WPVI-TV, Channel 6 (ABC)-Philadelphia, Pa., broadcast a segment about his journey. He reported seeing hundreds of thousands of people still living in tents and that 100 to 200 patients per day were seen at the hospital. Besides those with problems resulting from trauma during the disaster, others needed surgery to correct abnormalities of the eye and eyelid or required treatment for an infection called trachoma, a bacterial disease which spreads readily under conditions of poor hygiene.
Bedrossian, who is also an adjunct assistant professor of clinical opthalmology at Temple University School of Medicine, got involved through a group called World Eye Mission, a nonprofit organization with a dual purpose: to send doctors who will teach, in a visiting professor role, the residents and trainees in a disadvantaged country and provide some degree of service by seeing patients and performing surgery.
The group plans to send a group of doctors back to Haiti every few months. Bedrossian, who previously completed service missions to Dominican Republic and Brazil, says he hopes to return to Haiti.