Unite For Sight Global Impact Fellows work with ophthalmologist Dr. Satyajit Sinha (cataract and glaucoma specialist), his father ophthalmologist Dr. Ajit Sinha (2005 President of All India Ophthalmological Society), and his wife ophthalmologist Dr. Pooja Sinha (retina specialist). The family of ophthalmologists operate A.B. Eye Institute in Patna, Bihar, India.
This program has flexible dates for 7-20 days. You may select any dates that fit best with your schedule.
Volunteers may optionally pursue a research study in the Global Impact Lab.
AB Eye Institute and Charity Outreach Clinics
During their time in Patna, volunteers live with the Sinha family of ophthalmologists at their home. They also work with the Sinhas from early morning to late evening, including a full afternoon each day providing free care to poor patients in charity clinics. Those patients diagnosed with cataracts at the charity clinics receive free surgery. Unite For Sight Global Impact Fellows assist the ophthalmologists and staff of AB Eye Institute at the clinic and in the outreach programs.
School For Blind Girls
The Sinha family not only eradicates blindness and eye disease. They also founded and operate Bihar Netraheen Parishad, which is the only school in Bihar exclusively for blind girls. Bihar Netraheen Parishad's goal is to reduce social stigma and to provide the girls with a quality education. Unite For Sight Global Impact Fellows have an opportunity to visit the school and meet the girls.
This program provides an extensive and immersive global health experience, and Global Impact Fellows learn about the complexities and realities of global health and social entrepreneurship from the Sinha family of ophthalmologists. Global Impact Fellows live and work with the Sinhas and have ample opportunity to learn from them about eye care, medicine, and global health.
Additionally, for those with a special interest in medicine, ophthalmology, or optometry, the Sinhas provide opportunities to learn ophthalmic and optometric skills. Global Impact Fellows also have an opportunity to observe cataract and other surgeries provided at the eye clinic.
This program is suitable for anyone 18 years and older who has an interest in international service and health. Unite For Sight Global Impact Fellows are 18 years and older, and there is no upper age limit. Individuals between the ages of 15 and 17 may participate as Global Impact Fellows if they participate with a parent who is also a Global Impact Fellow. Volunteers range from gap year students, undergraduate students, and medical students to public health students, public health professionals, nurses, educators, opticians, ophthalmology residents, pediatric ophthalmologists, filmmakers, and photographers.
Global Impact Fellows work daily with the eye doctors at AB Eye Institute and in outreach charity clinics throughout Patna. The mornings and evenings are spent at AB Eye Institute, while afternoons are devoted to providing free eye care for patients at the charity clinics. Patients from the charity clinics who need ophthalmic care and surgery are brought to A.B. Eye Institute for diagnosis and treatment.
Standard Global Impact Fellows
Global Impact Fellows record visual acuity, take patient histories, learn from the eye doctors about how to recognize common eye diseases, learn how to use the autorefractor, observe in the operating room, and participate in school screening programs. Global Impact Fellows may also choose to pursue significant time at the eye clinic to learn a skill such as refraction or use of the slit lamp.
Additionally, Global Impact Fellows have an opportunity to pursue independent research projects under the guidance of ophthalmologists and optometrists at the eye clinic. Those interested in pursuing research are encouraged to view the video about Bihar volunteer Kristin Ow Chapman's research project.
Eye Care Professionals
Volunteer ophthalmologists work with the Sinha family of ophthalmologists to provide eye care and surgery. All ophthalmologists are welcome, and pediatric ophthalmologist volunteers are especially needed since there is no pediatric ophthalmologist for the entire state of Bihar.
Ophthalmology Residents and Ophthalmologist-in-Training
Ophthalmology residents and ophthalmologists-in-training have an opportunity to support and assist Dr. Sinha's diagnosis and treatment at the clinic and in outreaches, and they may also work with Dr. Sinha to learn SICS and phaco.
Filmmaker and Photography Volunteers
Unite For Sight filmmaker and photographer volunteers document the voices of patients who receive sight-restoring eye care through Unite For Sight programs. The videos and photos promote awareness and information about global eye care needs and demonstrate the commitment and dedication of Unite For Sight's local partner eye doctors, who work tirelessly to provide eye care to those living in extreme poverty. This experience offers students, filmmakers, and photographers an opportunity to learn about development issues while making a significant impact.
The volunteers lodge in the air-conditioned home of the Sinha family of ophthalmologists. Living and lodging expenses are 1,750 Rupees per day, which covers living, lodging, food, Internet, and daily transport expenses. There is also a 250 Rupees airport pickup and 250 Rupees airport drop-off expense, which covers fuel and airport parking fees. You may review currency exchange rates at http://themoneyconverter.com/.
This program is suitable for undergraduate and public health students interested in pursuing an internship for academic credit, as well as for medical and optometry students interested in pursuing a clinical rotation for academic credit. You should consult your academic institution regarding how you can arrange this type of course credit. Unite For Sight will complete student performance evaluations required by a university so that a student can receive academic credit. We can also provide a letter for the university that confirms a student's planned participation in the Unite For Sight program and describes the student's pre-departure online global health coursework and global health field participation. Please read the Academic Credit section of the Unite For Sight website.
This program is also appropriate for undergraduate students, medical students, optometry students, and public health students who would like to pursue a research project, which requires that the student have a faculty mentor at their home institution as well as IRB approval. Those interested in research should read the Global Impact Lab section of the Unite For Sight website.
Read narratives by past India volunteers: http://www.uniteforsight.org/volunteer-abroad/volunteer-accounts#india