Eye for Zambia helps with setting up an
operation program to make cataract operations possible
Cataracts are formed when the lens becomes cloudy, usually occuring
in the elderly. This happens rarely in children, but when it does there are
major consequences for the child. The developement of a cataract is a
gradual process (in both eyes) where the sight becomes less clear. The
lens becomes eventually white (opaque) and people can then see only
light and dark. In The Netherlands a cataract operation is a standard procedure.
The relatively simple treatment of cataract
is not possible for many people in Zambia
At this moment, in southern Zambia, at maxium 500 cataract operations
are performed annually. This is not enough because there are atleast
8,300 people who see poorly or are blind due to cataracts. This number
"A cataract operation is one of the most successful and cost effective operations in history"
- the world bank-
Well trained health workers in the villages can detect cataracts using
a flashlight. Then the patient would be sent to the eye clinic. Both the
presurgery procedcure as well as the cataract operation need a good
infrastructure, equiptment and technical skills. Post operative care and
follow-up would take place in the eye clinic.