Volunteer Views

I work in London UK as a general ophthalmologist with a special interest in paediatrics and strabismus. In February 2018 my family and I spent a week at the Lighthouse for Christ in Mombasa. We have been before a number of times, but not for a few years. This time, my wife and I were travelling with four children.

The hospital had helpfully organised an itinerary, so on Monday I spent the day in clinic with the paediatric ophthalmologist, Dr Matende, seeing complex cases. Ten cases were on the Tuesday paediatric theatre list, and these included paediatric cataracts, repair of penetrating trauma, removal of band keratopathy, and a newly-presenting case of bilateral retinoblastoma. Wednesday included an eye camp where we reviewed 123 patients, bringing those needing intervention back to the Lighthouse. The adult list on Thursday largely comprised cataracts, but included trauma cases. It was a great experience to see Dr Korir at work with small incision cataract surgery, and to share some of my tips as he learns phacoemulsification.

The hospital staff are a great team; kind and wonderfully welcoming. Josh (the Mission Director) and Maggie Ghrist, along with Justin and Shannon Brown, opened their homes and shared their lives with our family. With their children, our kids had an incredible time, seeing animals, a boat trip, beach time, joining in with home school and camel rides. Coming back to the Lighthouse has been a great experience – the clinical teams are so encouraged to receive training and teaching, and it is humbling to witness the breadth of care that is possible despite the limited resources. And to top everything is the knowledge that the Lord Jesus is central to everything that is done at Lighthouse. May the Lord continue to bless the work of Lighthouse as they minister to the eyecare and spiritual needs of the people in Mombasa and beyond!