Innovative Portable Clinic Helps to Restore Ebola Survivors’ Eyesight

By | November 9, 2017
Cataract surgery performed in an Emergency Smart Pod
Cataract surgery performed in an Emergency Smart Pod

Twenty-four Ebola survivors in Liberia regained their sight because of a cataract treatment project developed by Dr. John Fankhauser, Executive MHA student. Cataracts are a common side effect of the disease due to uveitis, a severe inflammatory condition to the eye that leaves many Ebola survivors with dense cataracts and severe scars. In September, a team of opthalmologists led by Fankhauser treated these patients.

The team performed surgery on the patients in an Emergency Smart Pod, a portable medical care facility made from a shipping container. The pod, designed by Baylor College of Medicine for USAID, functions in an epidemic and for routine care.

In 2015, Fankhauser started Liberia’s first clinic for Ebola survivors. “The need for medical care and support remains as many Ebola survivors suffer musculoskeletal pain, chronic headaches, fatigue, depression and post-traumatic stress,” says Fankhauser. “I have seen first-hand what an encouragement it is to them to know that the global community is concerned for them.”

Watch a video about the Emergency Smart Pod: The Fighting Ebola Grand Challenge: Innovating in a Crisis


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