Most blindness is preventable. Over 75% of the 2.2 billion blind or visually impaired people around the world have preventable or treatable conditions. That’s over 1.6 billion people who could have sight if they had access to quality eye care – a number equivalent to the population of all of Africa combined.
Unfortunately, over 90% of those with preventable or treatable vision conditions live in developing communities around the world, where access to eye care is limited by location or expense.
What is a cataract?
A cataract is a clouding of the crystalline lens in the eye – the part of the eye that focuses light and produces clear images.
This clouding is caused by a build-up of protein in the lens preventing light from passing clearly through it. As new cells form on the outside of the lens the older cells get compacted into the centre of the lens.
Over time, this process causes a gradual, progressive decrease in vision and eventually leads to blindness.
Lens clouded by cataract
How does cataract surgery work?
The three commonly employed surgical techniques for cataract removal are extracapsular cataract extraction, phacoemulsification, and small incision cataract surgery.
In each of these techniques, the eye’s natural lens is removed during surgery. It is replaced by an artificial intra-ocular lenses implanted into the eye. Phacoemulsification is the standard of care in high-income countries and requires sophisticated equipment and more expensive intra-ocular lenses.
Our specialist medical teams offer pro bono cataract removal procedures across Africa with multiple Africa20twenty nomadic ocular surgery mobile units.
Our mobile operating theatre with highly trained specialist medical teams travel to identified areas.
The team uses the latest state-of-the art equipment to offer a scarce and expensive service to patients in dire need; on a pro bono basis.