- To conduct comprehensive eye exams and provide necessary treatments and surgeries in developing nations by volunteer Optometrists and Ophthalmologists.
- To provide free eye wear fitted by volunteer Opticians to people in developing nations after they have had their eye exams.
- To conduct ongoing annual missions to bring sight to as many developing nations as we can.
Why We Do What We Do
The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that of the world’s 37 million blind people; 90% live in developing countries, 80% of the cases are avoidable or treatable, and 48% are blind because of cataracts. That means that approximately 20 million are blind from cataracts. A cataract is a clouding of the lens of the eye which obstructs the passage of light. Cataracts can occur from birth but the majority is related to the aging process. The treatment of a cataract is an operation, which is typically very successful in restoring sight. Surgery to reverse a cataract is generally a 30-minute operation and is a cost-effective surgery in which the natural lens is removed and replaced with an artificial intraocular lens. Individuals requiring cataract surgery need to be identified and referred, an activity which comes within the remit of primary care. Restoring sight through cataract surgery can not only affect the physical condition of an individual, improving quality of life, but also the economic condition as individuals can return to work and care-takers can return to school or work. This type of surgery is one of the most cost effective of all health interventions. The cataract surgery can be performed by local anesthetic and a 30 minute surgery.
- 285 million people are estimated to be visually impaired worldwide: 39 million are blind and 246 have low vision.
- About 90% of the world’s visually impaired live in low-income settings.
- 82% of people living with blindness are aged 50 and above.
- 1.4 million are irreversibly blind for the rest of their lives and need visual rehabilitation interventions for a full psychological and personal development.
- An estimated 19 million children are visually impaired. Of these, 12 million children are visually impaired due to refractive errors, a condition that could be easily diagnosed and corrected.
- Globally, uncorrected refractive errors are the main cause of moderate and severe visual impairment; cataracts remain the leading cause of blindness in middle- and low-income countries.
- 80% of all visual impairment can be prevented or cured.