The most common cause of blindness in Malawi is the suffering of cataracts.
This is an avoidable condition and is easily and effectively reversed through standard surgery.
People suffering with cataracts account for 48% of the blind over the age of 50 years and live in poor rural areas with no access to eye healthcare services. Such people have no option but to travel great distances to reach public hospitals in order to undergo surgery. Unfortunately, the waiting list for free cataract surgery at public hospitals is extremely long often forcing patients to remain in a state of partial blindness for the rest of their lives.
Through its cataract removal project, Gift of the Givers funds surgery which restores sight amongst the elderly in rural Malawi. In 2020 we successfully conducted a substantial number of operations, enabling patients to resume their daily lives without being depending on family support.
We support the Lions Eye Clinic at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital, in Blantyre, providing the funding necessary to enable surgeries to be performed.
Cataract surgery means that people previously visually impaired are able to regain their independence, allowing them to sustain themselves once more as able-bodied individuals. This, in turn, benefits the families they support and protects them from avoidable injuries caused by lack of clear vision.