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Light for the world reaches destination and goal: on-site visit in Mozambique
Thousands of visually impaired people in Mozambique are awaiting medical care, but there are only 18 eye doctors in the country. LIGHT FOR THE WORLD provides medical care in rural areas and supports eye clinics, trains local specialists and more.
By: Light for the World USA
“Our support reaches not only its destination but also its goal by dramatically changing the lives of these people,” says Andreas Prinz in reaction to seeing the projects of LIGHT FOR THE WORLD first-hand. “We have met Augusto Tete, grandfather to 21 children, in the small town of Metuchira. He was blind for several months. Then he underwent cataract surgery and now he can see again. When we escorted him home to his family, they were beside themselves with glee, dancing and singing all along the way.”
One ophthalmologist for one million people
Thousands of visually impaired or blind people in Mozambique are awaiting medical care, but there are only 18 eye doctors in the whole country. On average there is one ophthalmologist per one million inhabitants, compared to the United States where there is one eye specialist per 10,000 patients. LIGHT FOR THE WORLD brings specialist medical care to the population in rural areas through mobile services. The organisation also supports eye clinics, trains local specialists and works towards extending the network of health posts.
Giving eyesight with lenses, eye drops and solutions
The private global specialty pharmaceutical and surgical company CROMA-PHARMA provides LIGHT FOR THE WORLD with high-quality materials needed for cataract surgeries: intra-ocular lenses which are used as replacement lenses in cataract cases, viscoelastic solutions needed during surgery, and anti-inflammatory eye drops (in cooperation with Bausch & Lomb) used for post-surgical treatment. “Of course we will continue supporting LIGHT FOR THE WORLD. Not only that, but for the year 2013 we are planning to increase our involvement in order to help more blind people in the poverty-stricken areas of this world“, says CEO Martin Prinz.
“The social consciousness displayed by CROMA-PHARMA well exceeds any scale. The support provided by CROMA-PHARMA has enabled LIGHT FOR THE WORLD to help several thousand people regain their eyesight in developing countries over the past years. We cannot thank enough for this“, says Karin Krobath, board member at LIGHT FOR THE WORLD, about the unique involvement of the Austria-based company.
42,000 cataract surgeries
However, demand for more help is still rife. 39 million people worldwide live in total darkness, 85 percent of which in developing countries. Half of these could be healed with relative ease – for example through cataract surgery. In the past year, LIGHT FOR THE WORLD has made possible a total of 42,600 cataract surgeries. In Mozambique alone 105,500 patients were treated, 3,000 cataract surgeries were carried out. To reach more of those in dire need of ophthalmological care, LIGHT FOR THE WORLD currently supports the building of a new eye clinic in the coastal town of Beira. The clinic will serve two million people in the province of Sofala. It will also serve as a training centre for specialist personnel for the whole of central and northern Mozambique.
About Light for the World
Light for the World is an internationally active and specialised organisation working on 151 sustainable aid projects for visually impaired and otherwise disabled persons in Africa, Asia, Latin America and South-East Europe. The focus of activities lies on the prevention and healing of blindness as well as on the rehabilitation and education of persons with disabilities and on the furtherance of their rights.
In 2012 Light for the World provided rehabilitative support for 57,243 children and made possible 42,643 cataract surgeries. Their help reached 1,044,055 people in the poverty-stricken areas of the world.
Since the foundation of the organisation in 1988 over 7.5 million people were treated and more than half a million (502,212) regained their eyesight through cataract surgery.