A Cataract is the clouding of the lens of the eye, impeding the passage of light. Though most cases of cataract are related to the ageing process, occasionally children can be born with the condition, or a cataract may develop after eye injuries, inflammation, and other eye diseases.
Globally, cataract is the single largest cause of blindness. Cataract surgery is known to be one of the most cost-effective health-care interventions. Surgery and the insertion of an intraocular lens results in almost immediate visual rehabilitation. A simple solution to a common problem yet unfortunately a large percentage of the Kenyan population is unable to bear the cost, compromising their lifelong eyesight.
Eye Camp Africa Charity, a group based in the UK in conjunction with BAPS Charities Kenya, organized and executed free cataract eye surgeries in association with Lions Sightfirst Eye Hospital. A total of 2622 patients were screened across multiple counties, wherein 497 surgeries were booked, out of which 250 surgeries were carried out from 4th to 15th November 2022. Patients were transported to the hospital, served meals for 2 days, provided free full body checkups, got their cataract operation done, given a warm blanket as a gift, and finally transported back home.
The patients will also have free post-operative review after one month, two months, and three months to ensure the operations were successful. This confirms they are able to continue with their normal lives with the gift of sight, symptom-free, and cost-free.
One of the patients commented that for many years she was suffering with blindness due to cataract. She was unable to read, perform her routine activities, and was deeply reliant on her family members to assist her throughout the day. She was excited about the life transforming freedom this surgery will now bring as she regains her eyesight. Each patient assisted had their personal story of how the regained eyesight will significantly benefit their personal and family lives.
Funds to the tune of KES 1.75 million were donated for the surgeries performed, to Lions Sightfirst Eye Hospital. Through this endeavour, BAPS Charities and this project’s partners strive to take a step forward to spread the spirit of humanity and kindness as a part of its founder Pramukh Swami Maharaj’s Birth Centennial celebrations. Supporters can aid this continued noble cause by donating just 10,000 KES to restore sight to 1 person, who will forever be appreciative.