We Want to Open Your Eyes – Charity by EuroEyes
Blurred shapes and contrast, faded colors, it feels like you are getting lost in thick fog. The veil in front of you spreads bigger and bigger from day to day, until it covers your entire view. Your orientation or spatial perception drops quickly, until it’s almost impossible to do your normal daily tasks. Here we’re talking about an eye disease – cataract.
Theoretically, the intervention, so-called microsurgery, can be performed in every hospital or eye clinic. In Germany alone, over 600,000 people get such treatment every year. Cataract is highly curable, about 90% of the patients can get 50-100% of their visual back after operation.
Cataract in Developing Countries
What seems to be normal here is rather rare and luxurious in less developed countries. In many developing countries, cataract is still one of the main causes of blindness. Due to the lack of funding for healthcare, poor infrastructure, and a shortage of medical supply, people suffering from cataract can get very limited treatment. That’s how many people with eye diseases couldn’t be cured in time, which eventually led to blindness.
Since many years, Dr. Jørgensen and the EuroEyes-team have been taking the social responsibility and cooperating with international aid organizations on charitable medical-humanitarian projects. The focus is to help blind and visually impaired people by improving medical care in third-world countries or developing countries. With doctors and volunteers, EuroEyes provides help to the most needed places.
One of the largest charity projects of EuroEyes was performed by a nine-person medical team in La Romana, Dominican Republic. In collaboration with the charitable humanitarian aid program for blind and visually impaired Surgical Eye Expeditions (SEE) International, EuroEyes built an ophthalmic surgical center in the local hospital of El Buen Samaritans. About 130 patients were operated, many from which had suffered from cataract. “With projects like the EuroEyes-Camp in the Dominican Republic, we’d like to support our colleagues and help patients in these countries.” Explained Dr. Jørgensen. Without this support, such medical endeavour can hardly be achieved.
Besides the operations and the medical help, EuroEyes also donated about 200 pairs of glasses to the local community. In Germany, glasses that are no longer needed after treatment can be donated. That’s how EuroEyes could gather these glasses and passed them along to those in need, such as the people in the Samaritano-Hospital in Dominican Republic.
The most recent charity program was led by Dr. Jannik Boberg-Ans together with three other EuroEyes colleagues in Myanmar. The team supported domestic doctors in the deepest mountain areas. Within five days, about 400 patients were operated, most of whom had cataract. “Nothing is happier than helping those people in urgent need,” said Jannik Boberg-Ans. We try to go there and visit the medical team in the clinic of Myanmar at least once a year, “it’s a pity that we can not help each single one of them. But when we do go there, we try to treat as many patients as we can.” In addition, EuroEyes also supports the local doctors with equipment, so this project can be carried on even when the EuroEyes team is not there.
Further Charity Projects in Planning
On top of the project in La Romana, the EuroEyes team also does similar social projects with SEE in Peru and Lesotho. With a relatively small medical team, great things can be achieved to deplete the number of blind or visually impaired people. EuroEyes would like to actively help these people with their future planning and engage in further aid projects. Therefore day by day, less and less patients under the sick fog of cataract would suffer from it.