Expert Consultant Ophthalmologist, Dr. Miguel Morcillo, from Moorfields Eye Hospital Dubai Restores Vision for 50 Patients during Panama Medical Expedition
Dr. Miguel Morcillo, a Consultant Ophthalmologist at Moorfields Eye Hospital Dubai attended a philanthropic trip to Panama early February, 2020, to provide eye care to those suffering from cataracts, a common eye condition characterised by clouding of the natural lens of the eye which leads to decreased vision and blindness.
The trip was hosted by “Panama Mission” and “Surgical Eye Expeditions International”, an American non-profit humanitarian organisation that hosts clinics around the world. The clinic was supported by the Government of Panama and SENAFRONT (frontier police corps). Dr. Miguel has served as a member of Surgical Eye Expeditions International since 1999. During his tenure, he has treated patients in Kenya, Zimbabwe, Peru, Panama and India. On his latest trip to Meteti, Darien Province, Panama, Dr. Miguel treated 60 patients with cataracts and his efforts resulted in sight restoration for all patients. There were also two more American surgeons and performed a total of 210 surgeries, most of them cataracts.
Cataracts is a leading cause of blindness and visual impairment in Panama, especially in rural areas where access to healthcare is limited and costly for those residing there. However, this condition can be solved with a simple surgery that can be provided in proper conditions even in remote areas. In line with the Vision 2020: The Right To Sight, an initiative set by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) in 1999 to eliminate avoidable blindness, Surgical Eye Expedition International with the support of more than 600 dedicated, medical humanitarians has provided vital eye restoration surgery to over a half-a-million patients over the last 40 years.
As a long-standing member of “Surgical Eye Expeditions International,” Dr. Miguel has served on 15 trips and has provided life-changing surgery to over 750 patients from underserved communities. Through his work, he has been able to support in breaking the cycle of hardship that blindness and visual impairment cause – making patients, families and communities healthier and stronger.
When asked about his experience on the expedition, Dr. Miguel said: “Volunteering for Surgical Eye Expeditions International for the last two decades has been a unique part of my personal and professional journey. When I decided to become an ophthalmologist my goal was to give back to others, and as a member of the Surgical Eye Expeditions International, I have had the honour to practice beyond the borders of my country and share my passion with needed people across the world. This work brings me immense joy and fills my heart knowing that I have been able to transform many lives through corrective surgery.”