Keck School of Medicine of USC, in partnership with the Retinal Consultants of Arizona (RCA), travelled to Nepal to provide earthquake relief efforts and also created the USC Roski Eye Institute/ RCA Global Relief Fund to support the efforts abroad.
Nepal suffered a devastating earthquake in April, 2015, that took the lives of more than 9,000 people and injured approximately 23,000. With a magnitude of 7.8, the impact of the earthquake was far-reaching, affecting India, Bangladesh and China. On May 12, 2015, a massive 7.3 aftershock in Nepal killed hundreds and injured thousands more.
Keck School of Medicine of USC Dean Carmen Puliafito, MD, MBA, with support from Rohit Varma, MD, MPH, director, USC Roski Eye Institute, and Mark Humayun, MD, PhD, co-director, USC Roski Eye Institute, were instrumental in sending a six-member medical trauma team to aid the relief efforts.
“This was a chance for us to give back to the community on a global scale and to help those in the wake of such a devastating tragedy. Our USC/RCA team worked quickly to provide aid and to establish funds that have continued to make a great impact and provide relief to the people of Nepal,” says Varma.
Pravin U. Dugel, MD, a USC alumnus and former resident, and colleague from the Keck School of Medicine of USC, established the fund, which has raised thousands of dollars for the relief efforts.
The trauma team of USC/RCA medical professionals, including Dugel, traveled to Nepal to provide medical and surgical care, food distribution and shelter for those in need. The trauma team successfully completed a five-day life-saving mission that provided relief to those who had lost their homes and loved ones.
Dugel says, “Our roles were largely undefined until we landed in Kathmandu and saw the extent of devastation. We immediately traveled several hours to the most affected rural areas to join medical teams and help deliver disaster relief efforts. Today, the joint fund created by our affiliation continues to help the people in Nepal. In addition to food and medical supplies, building materials are being delivered and assembled to house thousands of families whose homes and communities were destroyed, and who are facing an active monsoon season.”
The USC Roski Eye Institute is grateful to have the opportunity to assist in the recovery and rebuilding of Nepal. On behalf of all of us, we thank you for your generous gifts to support the USC Roski Eye Institute/ RCA Global Relief Fund.