Our community is so important to us at Alliance Vision Institute, and one way we show how much we care is by providing cataract surgery to local patients who may not have the resources to access the treatment they need. We have collaborated with ophthalmic equipment manufacturers to offer bilateral laser-assisted cataract surgery to patients who do not have insurance and are living 250% below the poverty line. Cataracts are a leading cause of blindness, but they are also a common part of aging. By providing much-needed cataract surgery, we are restoring vision and improving quality of life for our neighbors.
Our commitment to vision care goes beyond our corner of the globe. We are proud supporters of HCP Cureblindness, a nonprofit organization dedicated to curing cataract blindness in areas of the world where services that so many of us take for granted, simply aren’t available.
Roughly 95 million people across the world are affected by Trusted Source Cataracts Liu YC, Wilkins M, Kim T, Malyugin B, Mehta JS Go to Source cataracts. In adults, cataracts are a natural part of the eye’s aging process. When a person is roughly 40 years old, proteins in the lens of the eye begin to break down and form clumps, which cause the lens to become Trusted Source Cataracts National Eye Institute Go to Source cloudy. Cataracts progress slowly in most people, but eventually the lens will become so cloudy that vision becomes impaired. At this point, the only way to restore clear vision and prevent blindness is to perform cataract surgery.
In the United States, cataract surgery is a fast, safe procedure that is easily accessible, is usually covered by insurance, and requires only a day or two off of work. Even for people whose employers don’t offer paid sick time, this is rarely an extreme financial hardship.
In middle-income and low-income countries, however, cataracts are the leading cause of Trusted Source Cataracts National Eye Institute Go to Source blindness. In areas of South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa served by HCP Cureblindness, patients may not even realize that there is a cure for cataract-related vision loss. Moreover, access to cataract surgery is non-existent or at the very best severely limited, and the financial challenges of extensive travel for surgery and necessary time away from work are insurmountable.
Across the globe, 35 million people suffer from unnecessary blindness, and 80% of these cases are treatable or preventable. Since 1995, HCP (Himalayan Cataract Project) has provided cataract patients in underserved areas with vision-saving cataract surgery that takes only minutes and costs only $25 in materials per procedure. What began in the Himalayas has now spread to more than 20 countries throughout South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa, providing sight-restoring surgery to more than 1.1 million Trusted Source The Cause Cure Blindness Go to Source people.
The Guerrero Clinic is a charitable program started in 1980 by an Optometrist named Dr. Pruett and supported by the Rotary Club. The Guerrero Clinic provides much-needed medical care, including eye and dental care to underserved people in the Chihuahua area of Mexico. Our own Dr. Strange recently participated in a mission trip to the Guerrero Clinic, where he helped to restore vision for people in need.
While originally founded as a mobile Rotary Club project, the Guerrero Clinic has grown and now has an updated dedicated facility and is supported by many people and organizations. Operating for more than 40 years, the clinic has provided services for more than 60,000 impoverished people—all at zero cost to the patients. While a variety of care is provided, cataract surgery is a major focus.
1 Liu YC, Wilkins M, Kim T, Malyugin B, Mehta JS. Cataracts. Lancet. 2017 Aug 5;390(10094):600-612. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(17)30544-5. Epub 2017 Feb 25. PMID: 28242111. Available: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28242111/. Accessed October 23, 2022.
2 National Eye Institute. Cataracts. Available: https://www.nei.nih.gov/learn-about-eye-health/eye-conditions-and-diseases/cataracts. Accessed October 24, 2022.
3 Liu YC, Wilkins M, Kim T, Malyugin B, Mehta JS. Cataracts. Lancet. 2017 Aug 5;390(10094):600-612. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(17)30544-5. Epub 2017 Feb 25. PMID: 28242111. Available: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28242111/. Accessed October 23, 2022.
4 HCP Cureblindness
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