Here I wish to express my gratitude to those, who supported me both locally and remotely during my work in Africa:
- Dr. Andrey Vorontsov, my russian peer, who inspired me with his work in the remote area of Kostromskaya province of Russia. His experience in underserved area with various difficult patients cases had perhaps influenced my decision to depart to the tropics. He was always there to support my treatment and diagnostic decisions through tele-consultations at Terra-Ophthalmica and privately. He was a brilliant diagnostic master. His tragic death in July 2020 in the age of 33 was a great shock for me personnaly and for the whole Terra-Ophthalmica community. May his soul rest in ethernal peace.
- Dr. David Kasongole FICO(Hon), FCOphth(ECSA), consultant ophthalmologist, vitreoretinal subspecialist, Lewanika General Hospital, University Teaching Hospital, Mongu/Lusaka, Zambia. It was a pleasure to work under your leadership for two years and it is a pleasure having you as a friend now. David was both my wise mentor and a supportive peer. Some of the cases, which are going to be shown here, were managed in immediate cooperation and/or under immediate supervision of David. And those were good times.
- Dr. Zulfia Sultanova, consultant ophthalmologist, University Teaching Hospital, Lusaka, Zambia. I am grateful to Dr. Sultanova for guidance during my first steps in African ophthalmology. That critical period, when the only thing you can think of is “oh…, and that can happen too?..”. Dr. Sultanova thanks to her vast tropical medicine experience and a very kind heart was like a guardian angel to us in a difficult times, when it had come to troubles.
- Dr. Tristan Reuser, FRCOphth, consultant oculoplastic surgeon, Midlands Hospital, Birmingham, Great Britain. Tele-consultations of Dr. Reuser were always timely, comprehensive and super-supportive. Dr. Reuser had also had extensive experience in African setup and we have met in person in 2016 during his two weeks professorship visit to Zambia.
- Dr. Roy Pelton, FACS, consultant oculoplastic surgeon,
- Dr. Christine Nelson, FACS, Professor in Eye Plastics and Orbital Surgery, Kellogg Eye Center, Ann Arbor, Michigan, United States. Dr. Nelson was very kind to me both during the Fellowship at Kellogg and thereafter, and helped a lot with some challenging oculoplastic cases via tele-consultations.
- Dr. Tatiana Ushakova, Dr. habil., consultant ophthalmologist in area of pediatric eye oncology, Moscow, Russia Oncology Center after Blohin. Dr. Ushakova has advised me with a couple of troublesome borderline pediatric cases, including Coats/Retinoblastoma ddx cases. That was tricky!
- All my Terra-Ophthalmica Russian peers and peers from Zambia, who were always there to support with fresh ideas regarding the management of complex cases. We have learned a lot from each other.
- All my Lewanika Eye Department family. I miss you all, ladies and gentlemen, and will always remember that precious time with you at a hard and a good times.
To all of these professionals I am very grateful. It is precious to have a support, when it is so needed. Having a team of outstanding and supportive specialists at hand is priceless, but especially so when one is the only eye doc around.
Thank you everyone!