“Don’t move your eye”. That is the one phrase in Mandarin that Indian neuro-ophthalmologist Navin Jayakumar knows well. He used it often while doing cataract surgeries on board the Lifeline Express—a four-carriage hospital train that runs from Hong Kong to remote areas of China. Jayakumar, formerly with Shankar Netralaya, a well-known charitable eye hospital in Chennai, southern India, got involved with China’s hospital on rails project while he was teaching at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin. On board the Lifeline Express he supervised and did cataract operations. “It was the first time I had an interpreter in the operating theatre. The patients came from remote backwaters. I was working alongside Chinese eye surgeons. It was a phenomenal experience”, the Indian eye specialist tells The Lancet.


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