Here is a simple post about a simple procedure that has incredible outcomes. A Million Miracles Sightsavers is the life-changing impact of sight-saving surgeries. This week it will be played out across social media for everyone to be a part of.
Cataract is a clouding of the eye’s lens, it is a common and the main cause of blindness in the world. We associate it with older people, in the developing world it affects children too. Loss can be permanent.
Surgery takes about 20 minutes and costs just £30 for an adult and £50 for a child, (they need a general anaesthetic).
Millions are living with sight loss; they might not know treatment is available, due to a lack of healthcare provision and the cost of healthcare.
A life without sight
Blindness for anyone is devastating. In a developing country it can mean isolation and exclusion. Inability to work or gain education. It creates a dependency few can afford.
Regaining sight becomes a miracle.
A Million Miracles
Is about raising £30 million to fund sight-restoring
procedures by 2017
Winesi’s lives in Kalima a remote village in Malawi. He is 69 or 70 years old (he isn’t sure) and has been losing his sight for 12 years and he’s been completely blind for two. He hasn’t seen his youngest grandson.
“I imagine what my wife looks like, but I can’t remember”
“I feel sorry for my family, because of my eye problem, I can no longer provide as I used to do in the past. I have some maize that I harvested last year remaining, but my worry is that once it’s finished, I won’t be able to support my family. I’m worried that they will suffer.”
Namaleta, Winesi’s wife, does the work of two people to keep the household running and to provide for the family. Winesi relies on her to lead him around, and although he’s known for a while that his cataracts could be treated at the hospital, he’s needed his wife to assist him to get there, and for various reasons – illness, bad timing, being unable to afford transport costs, the long walk on uneven roads – this hasn’t been possible.
Now Winesi is preparing for his surgery
On 8th October (that’s tomorrow) reporting live over Google+ hangout from Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Malawi, you can follow Winesi before, during and after surgery, guided by the
Dr Gerald Msukwa – Surgeon Ophthalmologist: “I have one simple philosophy. I believe Africa is a half-written book with the other half blank. You either read it and feel inspired to leave a line of your own – or read it, drop it and run. I chose the former”.
And on 9th October join Winesi as the bandages come off and he sees clearly for the first time in years. It will be an incredibly special moment.
Via the hashtag #SeeTheMiracle, the story will unfold on: www.milionmiracles.org
Sightsavers want everyone to share the moment and will be collecting questions and messages of support from the audience to be asked live on air.
Donate a miracle by giving £30, or whatever is affordable at
2 for 1 on miracles
The UK government is supporting A Million Miracles, until 31st December, all UK donations will be matched. This means a £30 donation to fund a cataract operation actually saves the sight of two people at no extra cost to the supporter. Follow the hashtag #UKAid and the handle @DFID_UK
All images: ©RachelPalmer/FieldcraftStudios/Sightsavers