Gift of Sight - HumanityFirst

Many of us in the developed world can afford to take our vision for granted. If we have minor eyesight problems, most of us can easily find a doctor to help us deal with them. Even if it turns out to be a major problem, finding a surgeon — for most — isn’t a difficult task.

But for those in the developing world, lack of available treatment can turn even minor eyesight problems into significant impairments. Here’s why sight is such a major problem for the developing world, and how the Humanity First Gift of Sight program is helping restore vision — and improve lives.

Vision Impairment in the Developing World

According to the World Health Organization 1.3 billion people have vision impairment, and for 188.5 million that impairment is severe. And while some forms of vision impairment are not treatable, 80% of those impairments are avoidable — in a majority of cases through something as simple as prescription eyeglasses or cataract surgery.

The consequences of poor vision can be severe. Poor vision can harm children’s performance in school, making them more likely to drop out. Those with poorer vision are less likely to be employed and frequently, they’re less productive.

Overall, they suffer with a lower quality of life — and they struggle more than unimpaired people who are emerging from poverty. In many cases, they require a caretaker, necessitating children or other younger family members to care for them — harming the next generation’s educational opportunities.

How Humanity First is Giving the Gift of Sight

Medical relief is a major part of how Humanity First USA helps the world. With the Gift of Sight program, Humanity First USA has assisted in restoring the vision of people living in Mali, Burkina Faso and Guatemala. In Mali, much of this is done at our health center in Bamako, Mali — the area’s only health center providing around-the-clock physician and nursing care. In the last three years, we’ve performed more than 1,600 free cataract surgeries in the Bamako health center.

In collaboration with Ahmadiyya Mission Hospital and our mobile eye clinic in Burkina Faso, we have performed more than 2,000 free cataract surgeries since 2016. During the same time period, our teams performed additional 250 free eye surgeries in Guatemala. All told, that’s nearly 3,850 people given free, vision-restoring eye surgery since 2016.

Help Us Give the Gift of Sight

Vision impairment is a massive problem, but it doesn’t have to be. Our Gift of Sight charity program can offer life-changing free eye care to thousands in need with the help of donors and volunteers like you.

Projects

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One of the more amazing parts of these trips is the patient interview prior to the actual eye surgery. You discover their stories, their history, their culture, their struggles, their…

The local Humanity First Guatemala heroes from left to right: Luisa, Dr Henry Meza, Claudia and Margarita

#GiftofSight team heading back to the United States and Canada. An amazing week. Humbling, gratifying and, yes, eye-opening. #EyeCareEverywhere #HFUSA

1.3 B

People with Vision Impairment

80%

Impairments are avoidable

3.85K

People given free, vision-restoring eye surgery since 2016

$72

for One Cataract Surgery