When I visited India for the first time last year, I was struck by the sheer number of people who seemed to be everywhere. That’s why it was hard to imagine that there are areas in India where people had trouble accessing eye care.
However, often people who need care the most can’t make it to a hospital. Community eye care brings medical care to them – reaching marginalized individuals and families right where they live.
Here’s a great story that shows how meaningful our community eye care programs can be, thanks to our kind and dedicated donors.
Girija, 45, Kuppal, 80, and Thankappan, 55, are a family living in a tribal colony at Mamlakandam, an inaccessible hilly terrain in southern India, in the area covered by St. Joseph’s community eye care program. Together, they earn just over Rs. 2,000 (approximately $40 CAD) per month cutting bamboo.
When all three started losing their vision, they were worried. Over the span of a couple of years, their vision got so bad that they had to stop working. “We were cursing our fate,” they explained.
Thankfully, St. Joseph’s conducted an outreach clinic through the community eye care program near their home. All three were diagnosed with near mature cataracts in both eyes. They were quickly taken to the hospital, where each underwent cataract surgery with lens implantation.
Two months after the surgery, all three were able to return to work, and offered their gratitude to the generous donors who helped them. They explain, “This has entirely changed the living conditions for us and our family. A million thanks!”
Operation Eyesight partner hospitals work with local health professionals to bring sight- and life-saving screenings, education and eye care to communities that otherwise wouldn’t have access to them. Visit our Gift Guide today to give this life-changing gift to your loved ones, friends and colleagues this holiday season.