Half of the world’s blindness is caused by cataract. This is an astonishing fact when you discover most cataract blindness is treatable.
operation is a fairly simple, 20 minute operation. Unfortunately, this is something millions of people around the world are still unable to access. When someone suffers from cataract, they experience a clouding in the normally clear lens of their eye, and it can either affect one or both eyes. While the early stages may not show any visible symptoms, once the clouding increases, vision loss becomes so bad that the person suffering can only distinguish between light and dark.
Most people with severe vision loss from cataract live in developing countries. This is particularly devastating because work, education and family life are affected, making it hard to escape the cycle of poverty. In some cases, people die prematurely. The impact of cataract is an inexcusable injustice because it’s a disease for which a safe, effective and relatively inexpensive treatment is available in more developed parts of the world.
For children like Samlan and Sintham
, having surgery when they’re young is crucial. If cataract is not treated early enough, vision loss impacts their development and children
can stay permanently blind. Unfortunately, cataract surgery on a child’s eyes isn’t the straightforward procedure it is for adults. In many developing countries, there are very few surgeons who can perform this specialist operation. That’s why the work we do in training
a local workforce is so important. The more eye doctors there are, the easier it is for the families of children like Samlan and Sintham to access help when they need it.