Of the more than 39 million people worldwide suffering from unnecessary blindness, more than half are due to cataract – which can be surgically treated.
Blindness is most prevalent in developing countries where malnutrition, inadequate health and education services, poor water quality, and a lack of sanitation lead to a high incidence of eye disease. Fully 90 percent of the world’s visually impaired live in low-income settings.
In the least-developed countries, and in particular Sub-Saharan Africa, cataracts are responsible for half of all avoidable blindness. Other causes include glaucoma (15%), corneal opacities (10%), trachoma (6.8%), childhood blindness (5.3%), and onchocerciasis (4%). A simple, low-cost, one-time procedure can restore full sight to patients with cataracts — but in too many places those procedures are not yet available.
Since 1995, the Himalayan Cataract Project and its global partners have performed more than 600,000 ophthalmic surgeries in the developing world through improvised mobile eye clinics and high-volume cataract campaigns. The life-changing, manual, sutureless procedures can be completed in less than 10 minutes at a material cost of just $25 apiece. Some 18 million needlessly-blind cataract patients still await care, most of them with no place to turn.
Cataract surgery is considered one of the most cost-effective medical interventions in the world. Many serious public health problems cannot be easily cured. One striking exception is cataract-induced blindness.
During the month of May 2017, Giving Hands Reiki will be donating 20% of their income to Himalayan Cataract Project. If you would like to help them directly, I invite you to visit their beautiful website.
Organization Information and source
- Himalayan Cataract Project
- Waterbury, VT USA