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From the New York Eye and Ear Infirmary, Sudanese Doctor Hopefully Watches Events in His Homeland

Dr. Sharafeldin MustafaNEW YORK, NY (January 2011) -- While political upheaval on the other side of the globe creates a new nation, Southern Sudan, the unfolding events are being watched from the wintery world of Manhattan by Dr. Sharafeldin Mustafa, an ophthalmologist in post-graduate training at The New York Eye and Ear Infirmary. 

Dr. Mustafa, who has family on both sides of the conflicted border, is a recipient of an International Council of Ophthalmology (ICO) fellowship, and is in New York studying with Robert Ritch, MD, Shelley and Steven Einhorn Distinguished Professor of Ophthalmology, Surgeon Director and Chief, Glaucoma Services, at New York Eye and Ear.

“I am sad to have my country divided,” said Dr. Mustafa, “but anything that brings peace will be good for all.”  He graduated from medical school in Khartoum and will return to practice in North Sudan as well as continue medical missions to the South.  There he treats endemic eye diseases such as trachoma, river blindness and severe cataracts, a major cause of blindness which is preventable with modern surgery.

As director of international training at NYEE, Dr. Ritch notes “The goal of ICO fellowships is to help promising young ophthalmologists from developing nations acquire specialized diagnostic, medical and surgical techniques which will better preserve and restore vision to millions in their home countries.”

For his part, Dr. Mustafa plans to do just that.  He is taking advantage of every opportunity to attend surgical cases with very advanced techniques, use and interpret state of the art diagnostic imaging such as the OCT and SpectOCT and participate in all modalities of clinical investigation.  “At home I will do 70 eye surgeries a month of all types,” said Dr. Mustafa.  “While ophthalmologists must now be comprehensive, I hope we will have glaucoma subspecialists in the future.” 

About ICO Fellowships

International Council of Ophthalmology (ICO) fellowships are considered among the most prestigious international training awards in ophthalmology. There are approximately 50 ICO Fellowships around the world each year, and NYEE now trains one of the largest number of international eye fellows of any medical center.


If you are a reporter seeking an interview with a doctor at The New York Eye and Ear Infirmary, please contact Jean Thomas, at (212) 979-4274. 


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