Ophthalmologists Dr. Geoffrey Tabin (based in Salt Lake City) and Dr. Sanduk Ruit have dedicated their lives to restoring sight to blind people in some of the most isolated, impoverished reaches of developing countries in the Himalayas and Sub-Saharan Africa. Drs. Ruit and Tabin founded the Himalayan Cataract Project (HCP) in 1995. Geoffrey Tabin was a high-achieving Harvard Medical School student from the suburbs of Chicago who was also an accomplished mountain climber; he was the fourth person to reach the famed Seven Summits, the tallest peak on each continent. It was through high-altitude climbing that he first came to witness the dramatic effects of cataract surgery on blind villagers. Dr. Tabin joins Tom Williams for the hour on Tuesday’s Access Utah.
Before becoming Nepal's most-celebrated doctor, Sanduk Ruit grew up in a rural eastern Nepalese village where he became intimately acquainted with the human costs of inadequate access to health care. In the face of heavy skepticism from other ophthalmologists, Dr. Ruit created innovative surgery techniques and went on to prove that high-quality eye care could be successfully delivered in places typically considered unsanitary by western standards. Today HCP works to eradicate preventable and curable blindness through high-quality ophthalmic care, education and the establishment of a world-class eye care infrastructure in the Himalayas and Sub-Saharan Africa. A new book by Oliver David Relin, “Second Suns: Two Doctors and their Amazing Quest to Restore Sight and Save Lives” describes their work.