In Turkey cataract mostly seen in old patients, which causes blindness if it is untreated, is wide-spread in Africa due to reasons like malnutrition, exposure to strong light for a long time and eye traumas in addition to old age. Cataract affects a significant part of population in especially in countries along the Sahel in Africa. Millions of Africans lose their eyesight and live their life depending on others when they are unable to get surgery due to lack of medical and financial resources
We have been facilitating surgeries in Africa since 2007. So far we have done;
Medical check-up on 712.112 people.
Medical examination on 343.429 people
Surgeries on 97.800 patients who regained their eyesight
Since 2007 IHH has facilitated periodic cataract surgeries in 13 African countries in total which are as follows: Togo, Benin, Nigeria, Ghana, Chad, Uganda, Tanzania, Sierra Leone, Niger, Sudan, Ethiopia, Mozambique, and Somalia. In 2014 we have established an eye hospital in Niger where surgeries are carried out regularly.
In Niger, where deserts make up 60% of the land, due to inadequate healthcare service there is a significant number of cataract patients: 130.000. Here the predominant cause of cataract is grain of sand getting into the eye, which is one of the causes of cataract. IHH helped the establishment of an eye hospital in Niger’s capital Niamey in 2014. The hospital, which brings hope and light to thousands of patients who are unable to get surgery due to lack of financial and technical resources, aims at doing surgery on 6.000 patients in 5 years. Moreover specialized doctors flying in from Turkey provides medical training for the local doctors to become qualified to do the surgeries.
When I was going to “volunteer nurse” came before my name in my name tag. I quite liked that my name came after these two words identifying me. The word volunteer reminded me about my heart that volunteered to do this. It reminded me about my self, my free will. I have decided with my free will to travel thousands miles away to bring light, to bring hope to the black men’s black world. That was the reason why the word volunteer preceded my name. I was referred to as volunteer along with my name even before I set foot there and put my earnest efforts in this project. It was such an awesome feeling. My volunteering brought me happiness even before I have done it…
- Nilay Yıldırım / Sudan