World Vision Day, which was commemorated on October 10 this year, is an awareness day organized by the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) on the second Thursday of October each year to raise awareness about preventable vision defects. World Vision Day aims to eliminate preventable vision defects by providing access of comprehensive eye health services for everyone. The IHH Humanitarian Relief Foundation has been working to fight against preventable blindness since 2007.
Surgery in Asia and Africa
Today 7.7 billion people live on Earth. Of the total population, 253 million are visually impaired. 66 million of those visually impaired are suffering from cataract disease. The cataract disease, which causes blindness if not treated, is seen generally among the elderly people in Turkey. Globally, apart from age, it commonly happens due to malnutrition, prolonged exposure to severe light and eye trauma. Due to technical and financial difficulties, millions of people cannot undergo surgery, which results in the loss of eyesight, forcing them to live their lives depending on the help of others.
The Cataract Operations Project launched by the IHH Humanitarian Relief Foundation in Africa in 2007 with the slogan "If you see them, they will see the world", has reached 119 thousand 361 operations in total by also reaching the Asian continent as of 2019. In addition to performing cataract surgeries in 17 countries of the world, IHH examined 355 thousand 79 patients together with AID International Doctors Association while 726 thousand 222 people underwent field screening. Our cataract project took place in; Togo, Benin, Nigeria, Ghana, Mali, Chad, Uganda, Tanzania, Sierra Leone, Niger, Sudan, Ethiopia, Mozambique, Somalia, Bangladesh, Pakistan, and India. 85 doctors, 128 nurses and health officers from Turkey took part in the campaign.
There are many visually and hearing impaired children in Africa. In most cases, these children are alienated by the society and are not treated properly. Most people with disabilities have serious illnesses and nutritional problems. These diseases cause permanent damage to some people, while they also cause the death of some. IHH does not only perform cataract surgeries, but also continually striving to meet the needs of particularly visually impaired Africans such as housing, health, and education with the “Barrier-Free Africa Project”.
To support IHH's cataract work in Asia and Africa, you can type CATARACT and send an SMS to 3072 from all operators and contribute 5 TL to the project. Those who want to make more donations can also support these surgeries by using the code CATARACT and donate through IHH's website and bank accounts.