Cataract Blindness – A Global Public Health Issue
Cataract is clouding of the eye lens and it leads to decrease or total loss in vision.
World Health Organisation (WHO) identifies cataract as the single most important cause of blindness in the world today. As of 2010, there were 20 million patients who were bileterally blinded by cataract worldwide.
With an estimated 39 million people whom to be bileterally blinded by cataract by 2020, this mostly curable visual barrier is becoming a growing public health issue which needs to be addressed globally.
Cataract Blindness – Devastating Effects on Patients & Economies
Aggravated by exposure to high ultraviolet radiation due to prolonged hours under direct sunlight; visually disabling cataract occurs far more frequently in underdeveloped parts of the world, especially in Africa.
In addition to physical and physocological trauma, economical and social impact of cataract is devastating on developing countries. Along with their caretakers, blinded cataract patients are unable to work and provide sustenance to their families. Cataract also prevents millions of children worldwide in achieving their full potential as they cannot pursue education.
Struggling to survive under the poverty line, many cataract patients in poor countries can not seek surgical treatment, and find themselves trapped in a perpetual circle of poverty with their families.
For those who can afford treatment, there are also other limitations for cataract treatment in most poor rural districts. Especially in Africa, there is a dramatic lack of high quality eye care services.
Solution to Cataract Blindness – Cataract Surgery Sponsorships on a Global Scale
Strikingly, most cataract cases can be easily cured with modern technology. Excluding cataract due to aging, surgical operations and insertion of an intraocular lens are highly effective ways of immediate visual rehabilitation globally.
The 66th World Health Assembly Action Plan aims to achieve a global reduction of avoidable visual impairments (including cataract) by 25% as of 2019. This is an achievable target, but it requires collaboration of governments and NGOs.
More importantly, donations from individuals are required to sponsor the cost of cataract operations for the poor and the needy accross the globe who cannot afford to pay for the surgery themselves.
Crafting a Global Strategy – Our Partnership with Temp’s D’Aide
In order to address this global health issue, the Australian Relief Organisation has formed an alliance with Temp’s D’Aide of Mali.
Established in 2013, Temp’s D’Aide operates a clinic in Bamako for eye surgeries.
Since inception of its operations, Temp’s D’Aide operated on 12,000 patients.
Our recent partnership with Temp’s D’Aide opens up new horizons to the Australian not-for-profit scene. As a result of our alliance, the Australian public will now be able to extend a helping hand to cataract patients who are awaiting surgical treatment globally.
ARO Cataract Campaign – Solution to Cataract-Driven Blindness and Low Vision
As a response to this global health issue, the Australian Relief Organisation is now offering individual donors the opportunity to sponsor cataract operations in Mali, Africa.
Through our “Cataract Campaign”, individuals can donate $200 and sponsor a surgical operation on (one eye of) a cataract patient. While these operations will be operated at Temp’s D’Aide clinic in Bamako, priority will be given to patients who are bilaterally blind from cataract.
After two months of their donations, donors are provided with a certificate of appreciation with their sponsored operation details, including name and photo of the cataract patient as well as the date of operation.
We are grateful for your support towards this crucial humanitarian program.
As of July 2018, your generosity empowered us to restore sight to 543 cataract patients in Africa.
To sponsor a cataract operation for $200, click on “Donate” button and follow the prompts.