In third world countries, a person every five seconds and a child every minute lose their vision. Especially in Sahara belt countries such as Niger, Chad, Mali, Burkina Faso and Ethiopia, there is a doctor per 40,000 people, while millions of people have never seen a doctor in lifetime. The number of doctors who can perform surgeries in 13-million Niger is 11. This means there is one doctor available per 1.2 million Nigeriens.
Project launched in 2007
The IHH Humanitarian Relief Foundation launched in 2007 “cataract surgeries project in Africa” with the slogan “they will see if you help” and has been lifting cataract patients out of darkness with donations of charitable people of Turkey since then. In Benin, Ghana, Togo, Chad, Niger, Burkina Faso, Sudan, Ethiopia and Somalia, 43,681 cataract patients have so far undergone surgery as part of the project. A number of voluntary eye doctors and nurses from Turkey took part in the surgeries.
300 patients gain vision
As part of the ongoing project the IHH and the Islamic Development Bank carried out health screenings and surgeries in Wau, one of the biggest cities in South Sudan. The IHH health team provided eye examinations to 1,000 people at Wau Teaching Hospital.
The examination revealed 300 people have cataract problem. They obtained their vision by undergoing a simple cataract surgery.
The rest of the subjects were given protective spectacles and medication. The surgeries were performed by a health team of two doctors and nine personnel.
South Sudan Health Minister Isaac Clent thanked the physicians who performed the surgeries and Turkish donors.
Each surgery costs TL 120
With the Africa cataract project 157,524 people underwent health screening and 43,681 underwent cataract surgery in three years. The project is funded by Turkish donors. An individual can help bring a cataract patient out of darkness by donating 1200 Turkish liras.