Name of Project: Cataract Campaign
2014 – present
Cataract is the number one cause of preventable blindness in the world. 1.6% of the Ethiopian population experiences blindness, with 50% due to cataracts. This not only affects the elderly; children and young people are also blinded by cataracts due to causes such as poor sanitation or inadequate nutrition. Blindness hinders individual health and productivity, as well as places exceptional burdens on families.
WEEMA International partners with the Himalayan Cataract Project, one of the leading organizations providing cataract surgeries to the world’s poor. All cataract services are provided for free.
Health workers from the Health Centers and Durame General Hospital have been integral to this project. They have led and participated in patient identification leading up to campaigns, implementation of the cataract surgery campaign itself, and follow-up in every woreda. Particularly at Durame General Hospital, the cataract surgeon and other health professionals form a core part of the entire surgical and support team that make this ambitious project a success.
- To treat preventable and avoidable blindness, especially cataract, in KT Zone, SNNPR, Ethiopia.
- To mobilize, screen and treat more than 500 cataract cases per campaign in the zone, by completing a one week high volume cataract surgery campaign in the zone’s general hospital.
- To provide capacity building and facilitate skill transfer through the involvement of ophthalmologists and eye health care professionals during the campaign.
- To enable the Zone and Durame General Hospital to maximize the number of patients they are able to treat.
- Mobilization and screening to identify cataract cases completed in all seven woredas of Kembata Tembaro Zone.
- During our first campaign in 2014, 630 surgeries were performed, curing 584 people of blindness.
- 584 people of all ages had their sight restored.
- Medical training of local eye care staff