Over 250 million people are visually impaired, with over 80% of cases being preventable or curable. Not only does widespread blindness devastate individual lives, it is also a major obstacle to a country’s economic growth.
In countries around the world with poverty-stricken communities, cataracts are the leading cause of blindness. As the world’s population continues to age, cataracts are a more prevalent issue and pose a major challenge for impoverished communities.
A cataract is a gradual clouding of the lens of the eye, which culminates in blindness. The disease is more often age-related; however children can be born with the condition, particularly in developing countries. The World Health Organisation cites inflammation, an eye injury, glaucoma, diabetes, tobacco use and more as potential causes of the disease.
For communities struggling with poverty, blindness can have a detrimental effect on the ability to break free from the poverty cycle, as blindness destroys livelihoods. Livelihoods are life sustaining and provide a means of dignity for those struggling with poverty. Without the ability to earn, a multitude of tragedies can unfold in a short amount of time, lessening the opportunities for a brighter future.
Without the means to afford medical care, many have no choice but to succumb to the disease.
Tragically, in more remote or hard to reach areas, where treatment for cataracts is not easily accessible, the disease is particularly debilitating, trapping many in the poverty cycle as a result.
However, cataracts are reversible with the right treatment. Restoring sight can be as simple as providing life-changing cataract surgery to vulnerable people.
Islamic Relief is on the ground working in partnership with the Islamic Development Bank to restore people’s sight in countries such as Niger, providing cataract surgery to those in need, preventing vision loss, and building the capacity of medical teams across multiple countries where millions needlessly live in darkness.
Cataract surgery can restore vision, but in rural areas, there are barriers like cost and access to healthcare. Islamic Relief continues its mission to provide healthcare by providing mobile health clinics to reach rural communities in need.
In total, the programme aims to fulfil the following:
The Alliance to Fight Avoidable Blindness is composed of multiple partners, each with a unique role in bringing sight to communities where people are living in darkness.
Islamic Relief remains committed to helping the most vulnerable people in the world. You can make a difference to someone’s life with your donation today.
It costs only S$135 for a life-changing cataract operation.
Just S$135 will give someone the gift of sight.
Donate to our Cataract Appeal and change someone’s life forever.