In Namibia and Mali, the number of medical personnel is so sparse that we continue to support medical mission trips. We partner with Kids' and Poors' Eyes International in Germany to conduct medical cataract missions, reaching remote villages with no other access to care.
39 million people around the world are blind according to the World Health Organization.
90% of the world’s visually impaired people live in developing countries.
80% of blindness is preventable or treatable.
The leading cause of blindness is cataract.
Cataract blindness is relatively rare in developed countries, but it accounts for 48% of blindness in the developing world, where people have limited access to eye care.
In the developing world, blindness and poverty often coexist. Cataract blind individuals are often unable to earn a living, and family members are able to work less because they must devote time to caring for a family member with blindness.
Cataract surgeries often restore a person’s ability to work. A sight-restored individual is also no longer dependent on family members, freeing those caregivers to resume their normal lives.
A 2007 article in the Journal Clinical and Experimental Optometry states that “a person who regained vision as a result of cataract surgery generated 1,500 percent of the cost of surgery in increased economic productivity during the first year following surgery.”
A recent report commissioned by the Fred Hollows Foundation estimated the value over a ten year period of eliminating avoidable blindness and visual impairment around the world to be $843.5 billion. With a benefit that large, the Fred Hollows Foundation placed eliminating avoidable blindness among the likes of primary school education and infrastructure projects in terms of its broader economic value.
by Combat Blindness ...