Avoidable blindness

About 80 percent of blindness is preventable. For many years now, LIGHT FOR THE WORLD has been working to reduce blindness which could be avoided.

A woman's receives an eye health ceck up PHOTO: Starmuehler

These cases of preventable blindness are particularly tragic because they could easily be treated: by the timely administration of medication, by small routine operations, by prevention and education. However, many people still do not have access to treatment, medication or doctors.

Cataract
(clouding of the lens)
Cataracts are the world’s most common cause of blindness, and are responsible for the loss of vision in 20 million people. This clouding of the lens may occur due to age or to an eye injury. Cataracts can be cured by replacing the cloudy lens by an artifi cial one in a 15-minute operation.

Uncorrected refractive error
About 106 million people are visually impaired due to uncorrected refractive error. In most cases, normal vision can be restored through spectacles. In Uganda, LIGHT FOR THE WORLD together with the Brien Holden Vision Institute has successfully initiated a National Programme giving poor people access to high quality tailor-made spectacles.

Childhood blindness
About 1.4 million children are blind, 70 % in Asia 20 % in Africa. 12 million children are visually impaired due to uncorrected refractive errors. We support their early detection, treatment, therapy and rehabilitation.

River blindness (onchocerciasis)
River blindness is a parasitic disease. The pathogens migrate through the body to the eyes, where they cause infl ammation and bleeding that ultimately leads to blindness. River blindness is on the retreat worldwide thanks to the widespread distribution of the drug Mectizan.

Glaucoma
Glaucoma is the second most common cause of blindness. Although it is not completely curable, glaucoma can be treated with medication and alleviated by a small operation.

 

What we do

Martine Bilgo gives interviews Photo: M.Bron

Martine once was a client in one of our CBR projects. She successfully graduated to become a teacher. Today she works in a school which is linked to a LIGHT FOR THE WORLD CBR project.

Photo: Roukiatou with her family

Roukiatou was born with deformed legs. A community-based rehabilitation worker supported her in getting the treatment she needed: The basis for mobility and an independent future.

Igliassu is playing with his school friends

A year ago, Igliassu could not even walk because one of his legs was much shorter than the other. LIGHT FOR THE WORLD helped him enrol in an inclusive school together with his peers.