CureBlindness | Cataracts: How Ten Minutes Can Change a Life
Back to all News & Stories

Cataracts: How Ten Minutes Can Change a Life

news | May 08, 2024

June is Cataract Awareness Month, an opportunity to raise awareness of the devastating impact of cataract blindness on millions of people around the world.

What could you do in ten minutes? Take a second, think about it.

Did “cure blindness” make your list?

Trained surgeons at HCP Cureblindness-supported outreaches can restore sight in as little as ten minutes and at a cost of $25 in materials. In a month dedicated to raising awareness to the devastating effect of cataracts, we ask you to reconsider your original answer. What could you do?

For those living with cataracts, they see life through the equivalent of frosted glass. Colors are dulled, objects blurred, and subtle facial expressions lost to the fog clouding their lenses. Until their world goes completely dark.

Cataracts are caused by a gradual build-up of protein on the eye’s lens, which is responsible for focusing light onto the retina. Aging is one cause of cataracts, but they can affect people of any age due to hereditary, nutritional, or other factors.

In high-income countries, few (if any) patients will experience advanced cataracts like those HCP surgeons see on outreaches. That’s because treatment for cataracts in high-income countries is both affordable and available. For those living in low- and middle-income countries across sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, this isn’t the case. For many, without the intervention provided at low or no cost to them by HCP Cureblindness, they will stay blind for their remaining days.

How Big is the Problem

According to the World Health Organization, cataracts affect approximately 65.2 million people and account for almost half of all blindness. We know that 80-percent of blindness is treatable with the correct treatment.

Patients at HCP outreaches arrive blind and return home with sight. Think about that: It’s a mind-blowing reality.

Tackling Avoidable Blindness

In 1995, two visionary eye surgeons recognized the profound impact that such a simple surgery could have in these under-resourced regions. So HCP was born and we set out to eradicate needless blindness – though we couldn’t have done it without your support!

From the remote mountain villages of Phaplu in Nepal to the bustling streets of Woldia, Ethiopia, HCP’s unique approach has focused on building local capacity, ensuring quality infrastructure, enabling effective prevention, and providing quality patient care.

By providing training, equipment, and support to healthcare professionals, HCP Cureblindness empowers these individuals to become catalysts for change within their communities. This action-based approach not only restores sight but also creates sustainable practices that can be carried forward for generations to come.

Cataract Awareness Month Double Your Gift Today

The Impact of Ten Minutes

We remain committed to reaching the least-served populations with the greatest unmet need. Together with an extensive network of partners, HCP Cureblindness has:

  • Completed over 1.4 million sight-restoring cataract surgeries, allowing patients to regain their independence and rediscover the world around them.

  • Provided more than 14.5 million people with eye screenings and basic treatment, ensuring early detection and intervention.

  • Trained over 19,500 eye care professionals – including 552 ophthalmologists – from 43 countries, ensuring local access to eye care.

  • Established five training eye hospitals and institutions, serving as centers of excellence in their respective regions.

In honor of Cataract Awareness Month, an anonymous donor has committed to matching all donations through June 13th. That means HCP’s life-changing programs will receive $2 for every $1 you donate!

On behalf of HCP Cureblindness and all of our partners, we are so grateful for your partnership as we continue to innovate and advance global eye care.

Donate today and double your impact.

Double Your Gift Today

Make a difference today

Donate Today

Your gift changes lives. A $25 donation can help restore sight to someone living with needless cataract blindness. Thank you for supporting HCP's work to eradicate global blindness!