National Geographic Ultimate Explorer host Lisa Ling explores Nepal, where few journalists have gone before, with two eye surgeons who are bringing the gift of sight to some of the country’s most remote villagers.
National Geographic Explorer host Lisa Ling sets off on an epic journey to Nepal, where few journalists have gone before, mixing extreme adventure with an unprecedented humanitarian mission to bring sight to some of the country’s most remote villagers.
It is a stunningly beautiful and mystical place, but for Nepal the new millennium has been plagued by troubles. In 2001 nearly the entire royal family was massacred, allegedly by the crown prince who then turned his weapon on himself, enacting the second worst mass killing of royalty in history. To make matters worse, the country has also been embroiled in a civil war that has pitted forces of the government against Maoist guerrillas.
Much of Nepal’s population lives in abject poverty and receives little or no health care. For them, something as treatable as cataracts usually leads to complete blindness - a virtual death-sentence in this harsh and unforgiving land. Cataracts are the leading cause of blindness worldwide and the cause of nearly 70 percent of blindness cases in Nepal.
Ling joins two remarkable doctors who have dedicated themselves to treating - and curing - blindness in Asia’s poorest countries. Dr. Sanduk Ruit, born in rural Nepal, and Dr. Geoff Tabin, an American, have given sight to thousands of blind patients in a six-country region for more than two decades. Together with Ling, they trek across majestic mountains and harrowing gorges to the remote and long-forbidden kingdom of Mustang, where they set up an “eye camp.” There, they are met by scores of blind villagers living an ancient way of life, who have made the difficult and arduous journey to receive treatment. Most of the people who receive the revolutionary microsurgery will regain vision within 24 hours. And with their sight, they will receive a dramatic second chance at life.
Join Ling as she delves deep into Nepal’s mountainous countryside on an expedition that might be her most challenging yet.
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