Around the world, 285 million people are blind or suffer from low vision. That’s more than 4% of the world population. Every minute, one child and 12 adults go blind, and the majority of these people live in developing regions, including Africa and South Asia.
In 80% of these cases, blindness and loss of vision is actually avoidable. That’s where Operation Eyesight Universal comes in. The organization aims to relieve blindness in treatable cases and to work towards preventing future loss of sight.
Inspired by the work of Dr. Ben Gullison, a Canadian-born doctor who ran a medical and eye clinic on India’s east coast, Art Jenkyns created Operation Eyesight in 1963 to help solve the problem of curable blindness in India, South Asia, and sub-Saharan Africa. To create lasting change, the organization does not simply come into an area, treat the blind, and leave. Rather, the group works with local governments and community organizations to develop self-sustaining eye health programs in the communities that need them most. Foreign doctors train local doctors and help provide equipment and develop facilities for continuing eye care.
They set high goals and seek to achieve them across widespread areas. Thanks to generous private donations and public funding, the payoff is staggering.
The Little Flower Hospital and Research Centre is a prime example of Operation Eyesight Universal’s work. This facility in Angamaly, India, supports a population of 32 million. It is the only facility in the region that provides training and conducts research specifically in eye care, educating doctors who go on to treat blindness throughout this vast community. The Little Flower is remarkable in its widespread impact on a vast community, and is now a self-sustaining facility. This is simply one of many institutions that have flourished independently.
LASIK MD has been a strong supporter of Operation Eyesight Universal and continues to help. LASIK MD has a staff donation program in which it matches whatever contributions its employees make. So far they’ve raised more than $25,000. Recently, LASIK MD ran a Facebook campaign in which the company donated $1 to Operation Eyesight for each “Like” on its Facebook page. This resulted in $2,242 in additional donations from LASIK MD.
You can join the fight against preventable blindness and vision loss in the developing world by making a donation to Operation Eyesight Universal.