Thousands of cataract patients who cannot receive a treatment due to shortage of medical services particularly in rural areas continue to regain their health thanks to the cataract project.
IHH, which has been sponsoring cataract surgeries in Africa since 2007, has sponsored 500 new cataract surgeries in Tanzania in cooperation with Sightsavers. Speaking at a news conference jointly held by IHH and Sightsavers in Dar es Salaam province, Sightsavers’ Tanzania Director Gosbert Katunzi said the Sightsavers is a civil society organization which fights against avoidable blindness and promotes equality of opportunity for disabled people.
IHH’s support is of crucial importance for us
Noting that Tanzania is a pilot region for the cataract surgeries, Katunzi said: “There are 10,000 people in Morogoro and 8,000 people in Iringa who suffer from cataract. The support which we receive from Turkey-based IHH is of crucial importance for us. This support will be used in the provision of scanning teams, doctors and surgery equipment in the regions mentioned.”
“If the project is completed successfully, a new campaign will be launched to conduct 3,000-5,000 other surgeries. I just want you to be sure that both the teams in the Tanzania office and regional offices are very eager and determined about the successful completion of this project. You just don’t forget the 18,000 cataract patients in Morogoro and Iringa who can regain their vision thanks to your support,” he said in further remarks.
More than 70,000 surgeries conducted
Speaking at the news conference, IHH deputy chairman Hasan Aynacı said: “As IHH, we are proud of the schools, water wells and mosques we have in various parts of Tanzania. Allah willing, we are beginning work in a new and important area. Since 2007, we have conducted 70,000 surgeries in more than 10 countries of Africa.”
Noting that IHH is cooperation with Sightsavers, Aynacı added: “We plan to sponsor thousands of cataract surgeries in Tanzania. We would like you to know that as a humanitarian aid association whose reference is the Islamic values, we will continue our work in order to take the relief they deserve to all the people of Tanzania and Africa without making any discrimination based on religion, language, color and ethnicity among them.”
There are millions of cataract patients in Africa
IHH Africa Cataract Project Coordinator Mustafa Metin Başbay announced that IHH launched the cataract surgery project in Tanzania after Uganda in cooperation with Sightsavers.
“We should keep in mind that around 1,2 percent of African population, millions of people in other words, cannot join daily life due to avoidable blindness and they continue their lives dependent on others. Thanks to the cooperation, we aim to reach out to more cataract patients more speedily,” he said.