This is my response to the Ragtag Daily Prompt of 15 June 2018 — Cataract.
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The first thing that came to my mind when I saw today’s prompt – cataract – was the Fred Hollows Foundation. Before his death, Australian Ophthalmologist, Fred Hollows, set up a Foundation to continue his work to restore the sight of indigenous Australians and less fortunate people in developing countries, who suffer from eye disease (such as cataracts, trachoma and diabetic retinopathy). These eye diseases are completely avoidable but without treatment, they will lead to blindness.
Fred Hollows said:
“I believe the basic attribute of mankind is to look
after each other, and that’s what makes humans
look after other humans when they are in need.”
Four out of five people who are blind suffer from avoidable blindness. The majority of people with avoidable blindness live in extreme poverty in the developing world. It should be noted that Australia is the only developed country where trachoma is endemic in its indigenous population. Restoring sight has the potential to reduce poverty because children can go to school, and adults can work to sustain their family. Avoidable blindness is a gender issue as it affects more women than men. Two-thirds of those suffering from avoidable blindness are women and girls.
The Fred Hollows Foundation accepts Australian and international donations. Donations are used to support sight-saving work, which includes eye operations and treatments, training surgeons and eye health workers, and other sustainable eye health. For information on the Foundation and how to make donations click here.
I am grateful to live in a developed country with access to sight-saving medical treatment. I suffered from diabetic retinopathy in my 20s, and I had cataract surgery on both eyes in my 30’s. Without the treatment I received, I would not be able to see now.
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