A Lighthouse in the Heart of Darkness

Dr. Jeremy Joseph volunteered to perform cataract surgery on patients in Zimbabwe in 1995 and was on his first trip with SEE International (Eye Surgery). This London optometrist knows that he can expect hundreds of patients to go blind prematurely from cataracts; Their condition is worsened by poor facilities and lack of medicine. What he didn't expect was the strong impact this experience would have on his own life. "My work at SEE International is challenging and exciting; it's a two-way process," said Dr. Joseph says. "I have gained as much from my experience as I give back. Many cases are not normal cataracts. Patients are usually young people with traumatic cataracts, or elderly people with complex cataracts. I had to learn to work in very poor conditions, where the water or electricity or both could stop at any time. But I've had the pleasure of working with some of the world's best optometrists, and the experience has been one of growth and self-confidence."

It seems like a continuous learning curve. At the end of Anya's next camp in Namibia, where Dr. Joseph and his colleagues operated on more than 125 patients, and they went into the wards where patients were expected to die. "Each patient, who was previously blind, but now sees, came forward and in turn shook each surgeon's hand in thanks. The room was full of emotions," said Dr. Joseph says.

Blindness caused by cataracts in this part of the world deprives the person of the ability to work and earn a living, and the social factors that cause blindness bad character. Dr. Joseph adds, "Our mission is not just to restore people's sight; we help them restore their lives." 

Since that first trip, Dr. Joseph has joined nine others. He is one of hundreds of ophthalmologists around the world who have partnered with SEE International to devote their time and energy to fighting blindness and other eye diseases in developing countries. Open. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), cataracts account for about half of all preventable blindness worldwide and cataracts (cataracts in both eyes) currently blind at least 20 million people. Harry Brown , a Californian ophthalmologist, founded SEE International in the early 1970s with a team of eye surgeons, nurses and trained technicians from around the world. Purpose of Dr. Brown is about changing negative lives into productive lives. Now that this dream has come true, thousands of blind people are being treated in more than 40 countries, including the Philippines, Mexico, Peru, Thailand, Kenya, Ecuador and Malawi. More than 600 volunteer optometrists give their services every year. Despite the help given to many patients; there are still some people who do not receive treatment because SEE International can only work in one place for a short period of time. Often, other problems such as glaucoma, blindness or retinal disease are not treated because of the high cost. Because they understand that their large cases represent only a small fraction of what can be cured or prevented in developing countries, SEE International supports various training programs for those Optometrists in third countries. Anya Camp program with one veterinarian, to provide training if necessary and to provide equipment, such as microscopes and autoclaves (used to sterilize surgical instruments). Frequent visits are made to the same country to maintain the progress of the project.