An estimated 5 million people are blinded by cataracts each year. Blindness affects more than 4% of the population in parts of sub-Saharan Africa.
In Sub-Saharan Africa, the most recent estimate of the burden of visual impairment indicates that 21.4 million people are visually impaired, including 4.8 million people who are blind. Despite cost-effective solutions, such as cataract removal and the provision of eyeglasses, an extremely high proportion, estimated at 2/3, of these cases of vision impairment could have been prevented or treated.
It is estimated that regionally, just three ophthalmologists per million population are available in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Overall, there is a catastrophic shortage of professionals qualified to deliver optometry services in the region, insufficient eye health personnel in rural areas, and extremely low cataract surgical rates. Projected rates of personnel and Cataract Surgical Rates (CSR) are not expected to keep up with increasing eye health needs. The study suggests that without significant investment and appropriate action, many people will continue to unnecessarily experience avoidable and disabling vision impairment and blindness in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Muntada Aid Doing?
With your support, we are declaring a fight against cataracts.
In 2023, Muntada Aid plans to carry out at least 2000 cataract surgeries in Niger, Mali, Uganda and Bangladesh.
Halima’s Journey of Hope
Halima Garba is 70 years old. She lives with her daughter and grandchildren in a small compound on the outskirts of Tahoua, some 300 kilometres from the capital Niamey in Niger.
Halima has cataracts in both her eyes. The family's socio-economic situation and the poor national health infrastructure in Niger have kept her partially blind for the past five years.
Halima heard about our mission in Tahoua over the radio and registered for the surgery. This is her journey of hope and light.
How You Can Support
Setting up a Direct Debit is one of the best ways you can support our programme. By donating just £5 monthly will help us reach more people suffering from cataract blindness. Alternatively, by donating just £75, you can fund a life-transforming cataract operation in Niger.
Please remember that some people who visit our missions travel from remote villages and have no means of food or shelter. Muntada Aid is now serving warm, freshly cooked dinners to patients and their family members during their stay at the hospital. Most of these people have no means to secure dinner and shelter.
An estimated 20 million people across Africa are blind or visually impaired, more than 75% of which is completely avoidable. This is an urgent problem that needs an immediate solution.
I consider myself blessed that I was able to witness the happiness on the faces of these elderly people as they could see the world and their beloved ones again for the first time in years.
CATARACT VIDEO GALLERY
cataract is responsible for 51% of the world blindness