It is estimated that 42 million people are blind worldwide with a further 124 million classified as poor vision (no sight past 2 meters) with an astonishing 90% of blind people are located in the poorest regions in the world. Although some of the conditions are untreatable, 75% of blind people in Africa lost their due to a condition that was preventable and/or reversible.
Blindness has an enormous personal, social and economic cost, limiting the education and life choices of otherwise healthy people, and placing a significant weight on family, community, and social and health services. Unsurprisingly, blindness is associated with lower life expectancy.
Cataracts is a condition that we all have heard of but in regions with poor diet, low nutrition and high rates infectious disease, it is the biggest cause of blindness worldwide. In cataract, the lens becomes opaque as the eye ages although cases in Africa start as young as 15. Although primary prevention is not yet possible, cataract is easily reversed with simple eye surgery
Since 2008, Doctors for Life have been travelling around sub-Saharan Africa setting up surgeries in remote rural villages and restoring sight to thousands across 6 countries. Not only this, but providing medication to prevent blindness, correcting refractive errors, as well as general medical assistance to tens of thousands.
Whilst travelling with Doctors for Life in 2010 a medical student from Dunstable founded the Malawi Eye Surgery Fund to address of one the worst effected regions of preventable blindness in the world. Since the founding two trips have been conducted performing 400 operations, 20,000 people protected from trachoma and 8,000 pairs of glasses fitted and distributed. On each occasion 8,000 people were seen by Internal medicine specialists addressing complications of HIV and various Tropical diseases as well as saving many lives by giving out Malaria medication.
In 2011, Malawi Eye Surgery Fund and Doctors for Life are returning to Malawi in the month of July to continue their work. Taking two Surgeons and two GP’s they aim to see over 10,000 patients and perform 200 surgeries in just 14 days. The fund needs to raise in region of £15,000 to send their team, medication and equipment to Malawi and they are asking for simple donation of old CDs, DVDs & console games.
Now we know that you are hording them away somewhere and that they are already on your iPod! It doesn’t matter what state they are in or how rubbish they are since these are worth money which will help the people of Malawi, so we Challenge you and your buds to help those less fortunate and donate your old unused games, DVD’s and CD’s to a cause greater than our own.
If you feel you can contribute, make a cash donation to the fund or just wish to find out more information please contact First Stage Recordings or via the contacts below. Malawi Eye Surgery Fund will personally collect any donation you are willing to make!
Nicholas Ashton – Malawi Eye Surgery fund – Project Leader & Founder
T – 07707129228
Please follow us on Face Book @ Malawi Eye Surgery Fund. Each new member generates a £1 donation to the fund
Glen – First Stage Recordings