“HelpMeSee” in the face of Cataract Blindness


20.3 million people in the developing world, or half of all the blind people in the world, suffer from cataract blindness. There are children that will grow up without ever using their eyes despite the fact that a simple surgery could cure it in less than the time it takes to finish an SAT session.  MSICS, or Manual Small Incision Cataract Surgery, takes about 5 minutes for an adult and 15 for a child. Yet the fact remains that most underprivileged children will never receive this operation that could vastly improve their lives. HelpMeSee, a startup organization, has made it their mission to change that.

MSICS only costs $15 for an adult, but the cost escalates to $300 for a child. This is because children are put under full anesthesia, and even with the short duration, is the cheapest it can be. The surgery is known as one of the most low-cost and technologically advanced medical procedure of its kind, requiring no stitches and a restoration of sight in 24 hours. A defective lens is replaced with an artificial one, a $2 exchange that never needs replacing, and lasts the child’s lifespan. Any incisions heal naturally. Sadly, $300 without medical insurance and a stable income in most impoverished villages are impossibility. HelpMeSee works with many surgical partners and charity groups to enable them with the miracle of sight, regardless of poverty.

Apart from the cost, the other pressing concern is the lack of surgeons to perform it. The other part of HelpMeSee’s mission, then, is implementing training programs. Most eye surgeons are required, among other things, full college degrees and a variety of background knowledge before being authorized to practice. By speeding up the process from eight years to professional in six months, new surgeons are constantly being produced and sent to target areas sooner than later. This is done by having the surgeons concentrate on the one surgery and perform simulated tests in preparation. What’s even better is that it empowers the locals to take on the task themselves, introducing even more .

The battle against cataract blindness, nevertheless, is an uphill one. The site notes,

“ Current projections estimate that the number of blind children and adults in the world will double over the next few decades unless something is done.”

HelpMeSee makes possible a miracle that is virtually not a problem in developed nations. The efforts of more and more startups like HelpMeSee are efficiently tackling various epidemics in the world that governments can’t.

Source: HelpMeSee.org

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