More than four and a half million people in Ethiopia suffer from blindness or poor vision. For many, it’s a problem that can be fixed. Yet the country has long been lacking proper treatment facilities. Now a new programme, led by Chinese eye surgeons, is helping transform hundreds of lives.
Intricate surgery, but this team are experts in their field…and when they’re finished here, it means this woman will have a new lease on life, her sight restored after so long spent in darkness.They’re just one of hundreds set to benefit from a programme known as the journey of brightness.
China has been sending medical teams to provide vital health services in Ethiopia for more than four decades.
This venture is something new, a team of top eye surgeons trying to make a difference to hundreds of lives through an intensive 2-week session of surgeries.
The team is from Peking Union Medical college hospital, and the surgeons are working at the Alert Referral hospital in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa.
“The patient situation is more complicated that the one in Chin because they come to hospital too late . and its not just about the cataract but they have other infections as well .but still we can do the operations . we’ve brought some advanced equipment which will help,” said Dr. Fangtian Dong, Chinese team leader.
Ethiopia has made huge progress in recent years in developing its health services, particularly for children.
But cataracts – the clouding of the lens inside the eye – remain a curse many live with.
Too few local doctors are qualified to perform the relatively simple surgery and for many rural folk, treatment is simply not accessible. So even this small team can make a big difference.
“They have brought high tech to make services simple , increase quality . previously to introduce lenses with guess work without calculating power of the eye,” said Dr. Solomon Bussa, Alert hospital.
And it’s not just people in Ethiopia who are benefiting. The journey of brightness has been rolled out to six other African countries.