Gerry Clare

An expert in saving sight on tackling the effects of TB in Uzbekistan

The World Today
2 minute READ

Gerry Clare

Trained as consultant ophthalmic surgeon in the British Army, having served as a medical officer to the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders and 23 Parachute Field Ambulance

When I wake up in Nukus in the Republic of Karakalpakstan, a region in Uzbekistan, I try to gauge the temperature outside before deciding what to wear. With a cold wind coming in from the Central Steppe, I wrap up warm and allow myself a hearty breakfast before walking to the local hospital.

I am here with Médecins Sans Frontières, who are coordinating, with the Ministry of Health, a major drug trial to introduce new treatments for strains of tuberculosis which are resistant to the primary drugs.

My job as an ophthalmologist is to ensure that the Karakalpak staff members are fully equipped to monitor the eye health of participants in the drug trial. The new drugs are among the first to be designed in 50 years, and may have ocular side effects.

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