Cataract is the number one cause of treatable blindness in the world, affecting nearly 20 million people, or about 51 percent of all blind adults, according to the World Health Organization.
90% of global blindness exists in the developing world where the poor do not have access to eye care services, including cataract treatment.
Cataract is common among older people throughout the world, but it is especially prevalent in the developing world, where 90 percent of global blindness exists. While cataract surgery is quite common and inexpensive in the United States and other parts of the developed world, access to this simple solution remains out of reach for much of Africa and Asia’s poor, especially those living in remote regions.
Helen Keller International is addressing the enormous backlog of cataract surgeries needed in Myanmar, countries with some of the world’s largest numbers of adults blinded by cataract. We are dedicated to increasing access to quality, affordable cataract surgery, particularly for impoverished rural communities. We train doctors to perform efficient, high-quality cataract surgeries and offer follow up care. We also provide technical assistance to national teaching hospitals to continue to increase the number of skilled surgeons and patients whose sight is restored each year.
In Indonesia, Helen Keller International is also helping to establish pediatric eye health programs that provide comprehensive care that includes high quality surgery and after-care for children in need.