Dr. Glenn Strauss, Ophthalmologist
Dr. Strauss began serving full time with Mercy Ships in 2005 and has been V.P. of International Programs and Health Care Services since 2006. In 2008, he accepted the role of Senior Vice President of Health Care Initiatives. He is currently aboard the Africa Mercy, on a 10 month field service to the African country of Benin. His wife, Kim also works with eye patients on the ship.
When Dr. Strauss began treating the African people, he found they often had more dense and severe cataracts. This was due to many factors, including lack of access to ophthalmic intervention, frequency of eye trauma, intensity of the sun's rays along the equator, and nutritional issues. The condition of many patients was best described as "end-stage" and did not respond well to typical techniques.
For this reason, Dr. Strauss began development on a new procedure specifically developed to care for the type of cataract found in Africa. The small incision manual procedure he developed utilizes a tunnel approach to remove the affected lens. The tunnel also acts as a self-sealing valve. Since no sutures are required, recovery time is shortened.
During development, quality was always his #1 concern. The need for low-tech solutions was also of great importance as this resulted in ease of training and was resource sparing.
An important model employed by Mercy Ships is training and mentoring of both local doctors and missionary volunteers committed to working with the poor. Dr. Ogbe, a local surgeon from Porto Novo recently finished training and is now doing cataract surgery on her own. She is beginning to train others in the procedure. Dr. Wendy Hofman, shown in the video below, is working onboard the Africa Mercy under a fellowship and has recently finished her training so she can serve full time in Gabon. She too is performing the procedure on her own.
Darkness Lifting - 3 children from a single family are treated successfully for cataracts
From Enthusiasm to Effectiveness
- Dr. Strauss presents Mercy Ship's model for training non-medical locals from
Dr. Strauss and Mercy Ships have been approached by other African countries to help train doctors for their areas.
ABOUT MERCY SHIPS: Mercy Ships uses hospital ships to deliver free, world-class health care services to those without access in the developing world. Founded in 1978 by Don and Deyon Stephens, Mercy Ships has worked in more than 70 countries, providing services valued at more than $748 million, directly impacting more than 2.16 million direct beneficiaries. More than 1200 crew worldwide, representing more than 40 nations, are joined each year by over 2000 short-term volunteers. Professionals including surgeons, dentists, nurses, health care trainers, teachers, cooks, seamen, engineers, and agriculturalists donate their time and skills to the effort. Visit Mercy Ships
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