Through our time-proven processes we are able to make an impact and help eradicate cataract blindness worldwide. First, we educate and empower through the valuable donations from our world partners and then we are able to make a sustainable impact.
Education, Supplies & Empowerment
In developing countries, when a person develops a cataract and cannot get surgical treatment, the cataract progresses and eventually causes blindness. This is curable blindness; it can be fixed with a simple surgical procedure.
Blindness and poor vision impact the quality of life, particularly for those living in poverty. The blind are heavily affected economically, as ninety percent of blind individuals cannot work. Additionally, staying home while blind has the challenge of trying to stay safe and attempt to take care of themselves. This blindness therefore, impacts the whole family. The restrictions that blindness places on the individual means that approximately 75% of visually impaired people require assistance with everyday tasks.
In developing countries, most blind adults need to be led by either sighted children or sighted adults. When a child becomes the caretaker, that child is often unable to attend school, denying the child an opportunity to escape the poverty cycle. When a sighted adult becomes the caregiver, he or she often needs to stop working. These are long-term repercussions for family economics and education that extend beyond the blind individual. Blindness of one individual in a family can represent the tipping point for that families economic status, impacting independence and freedom to work to contribute to the families’ needs. Help us restore dignity. Help us provide the opportunity to change lives.
Our goal is three-pronged. First, we offer education to an eye care team including optometrists, clinic assistants, nurses, assistant medical officers, and operating room nurses. Teaching focuses on surgical skills, sterilization techniques, ophthalmic assisting, preoperative and postoperative care, diagnosis and treatment of eye diseases. Various teaching modalities are used including one on one skill transfer, lectures, discussions and online teaching.
Second, ophthalmology requires instruments and medical devices to properly examine and treat patients. These instruments include microscopes, surgical tools, slit lamps, indirect ophthalmoscopes, direct ophthalmoscopes B-Scan, A-scan and visual field machine. The price of opening an office is between 50-80,000 US dollars. It is difficult to buy the equipment without funds and it is difficult to find a bank willing to loan monies for these purchases. Eye Corps provides non-monetary loans of equipment with the understanding that 50 percent of the surgical cases must be provided to patients with low resources. In order to improve the clinic, Eye Corps also supports a modest renovation of the clinic space to improve the patient flow.
The last step is empowerment of which a prime example is Dr. Japhet. Opportunities provided by Eye Corps' programs have turned Dr. Japhet into an even better surgeon. What is especially impressive, is the leadership Dr. Japhet provides to our cause.
We see leadership as a critical piece to this formula, to help the eye care team members work to their highest capacity. Leadership training includes formal lectures (mostly small group discussions) and one-on-one coaching. Dr. Japhet is now helping to train other surgeons, enabling them to combat cataract blindness in their own communities.
Eye Corps continues to support the eye care team with continuing education and training opportunities for the nurses and scrub techs.
Through your valuable donation, Eye Corps is able to provide a simple surgery and change a life. For $100,000 we can identify a surgeon, train him or her, equip and modernize a facility and subsidize that surgeon for years so he or she can change that community. You will be giving sight to 1,000 people a year for a very long time. That is something you can be proud of!
Our first community we helped was in Moshi, Tanzania. Some of our accomplishments include:
- Surgical space renovation completed
- Equipment purchased and provided
- 2 nurses trained in ophthalmic outreach and surgical assisting
- 2 surgeons trained in cataract surgery and anterior segment surgery
- 2 surgeon currently in training
- 1 optometrist trained in biometry and A scan technology
- Lecture series in collaboration with Lahey Clinic
- Leadership development small group discussions
- Outreach training in collaboration with the Moran Eye Center
- Total surgeries: 1010
We are poised to spread throughout Africa. At our second site in Hai, Tanzania, Eye Corps has supplied the clinic with a slit lamp and some educational training. At our third site in Lindi, Tanzania, in 2020 alone we examined 400 patients and performed 130 surgeries.
We have goals to expand to future sites in Songea, Geita and Katavi.