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Shining a Light on Cataracts: Restoring Vision, Transforming Lives

news | May 26, 2023

Imagine watching your life go by through frosted glass. Colors would be dulled, objects blurred, and subtle facial expressions lost to the fog clouding your lenses.

That is what living with cataracts is like – at least until your world goes dark entirely.

Illuminating the Path to Vision Restoration

According to the World Health Organization, cataracts affect approximately 65.2 million people and account for almost half of all blindness.

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.

Without treatment, these proteins can completely obscure one’s vision until it is lost entirely. But cataract surgery offers a ray of hope. In ten minutes, ophthalmologists can replace the cloudy lens with an artificial intraocular lens (IOL) that allows the patient to see clearly once again. Unfortunately, many of the people living with cataracts are in low- to middle-income countries that lack the eye care infrastructure to screen and treat cataracts.

Illuminating the Path to Vision Restoration

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.

The Impact of 10 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 the coming year, we look forward to expanding our reach and magnifying our impact thanks to HCP Cureblindness’ recent acquisition of SightLife International, an organization dedicated to addressing corneal disease. This will not only enhance the quality of care we can provide but also expand our reach to include India, a country with immense potential to make a difference.

I’ve seen many humanitarian interventions all over the world, and there’s almost nothing so cheap, rapid, and transformative as cataract surgery. Nicholas Kristof, NY Times columnist

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 help us create a world in which no one is needlessly blind.

Make a difference today

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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!