Caps for Cataracts

Feb 14, 2022 | 2 min read

Marlize Hipwell (left) and Malshi Karunatilake (right)  pose with scrub caps sold in support of the Orbis fundraiser for Rohingyan  refugees.

This year, the Orbis Future Vision Leaders of University  of Saskatchewan partnered with University of Saskatchewan Ophthalmology  Interest Group (OIG) to successfully organize a scrub cap fundraiser to  support Orbis Canada and OBAT Canada’s initiative to provide cataract surgeries  for Rohingya refugees in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh.

This is OIG’s  first year as a student interest group and we aim to foster a culture of  health advocacy among our group of aspiring ophthalmologists. At our first  meeting, we had a brainstorming session on how we can contribute to local and  global vision health. We all understand the importance of vision for one’s  quality of life and the significant vision improvement that is provided with  cataract surgeries – so we were intrigued by Orbis’ initiative. With  individual scrub caps being a much-desired item among medical students, we  thought that our fundraiser would be of interest to our medical school  student body.

Marlize Hipwell, a fourth-year medical student at the  University of Saskatchewan College of Medicine with an incredible talent for  sewing and crocheting, graciously offered to support the fundraiser and  single-handedly sewed all the caps! We are all grateful for her tremendous  effort and dedication to supporting our initiative.

Caps were available in more than twenty different patterns  and colors. The fundraiser successfully raised $375, and all proceeds were  donated to Orbis Canada. As future  partners in vision care, it is important that we become advocates for patient  needs in both local and global communities. We are grateful for the  opportunity to provide our support for this incredible sight-saving  initiative and hope to continue our efforts in the coming  years!

Authors:  Malshi Karunatilake (M4, USask), Laura Wu (M3, USask)