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Harar Cataract Campaign - Joy After Sight Restoration

videos | Dec 22, 2016

HCP Board Member and Ethiopia Program Director Dr. Matt Oliva finished a cataract campaign at Bisidimo Hospital in Harar, Ethiopia. Together, they completed 1,336 cataract surgeries in just 6 days. Nearly half of the patients were bilaterally blind, and there were 40 children.

Dr. Oliva shared this video capturing the profound joy that he witnessed each day, when close to 300 eye patches came off. This is what he wrote:

“The most memorable patient was a 30 year old woman, the lady in green in this image, who had been blind for 10 years. She had six children, three of which were surviving. As her eye patches came off she was able to see her 8 year old son and her 9 month old son for the first time. The elder son was beaming, as I think he was able to imagine for the first time a life free of his mother’s blindness. Each morning ended with the patients and their families dancing and ululating in spontaneous dance circles.” He also added: “I am so proud of our team and how we are making a difference. I am so optimistic we will be able to follow the lead of Dr. Ruit in Nepal and see a similar "snowball" effect in the years to come in Ethiopia in alleviating blindness.”

 

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