Blind. The Unbearable Lightness of Being

Antonio Aragon Renuncio

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An elderly woman blinded by cataracts (the leading cause of blindness and vision loss in Africa and contributing to approximately half of all causes of blindness in the continent) before being operated by doctors from the Spanish NGO ACCI in the operating room built in Dapaong (Togo, West Africa) to bring medical attention from ophthalmology to the inhabitants (mainly children) of the north of this forgotten country.

Of the more than 39 million people worldwide suffering from unnecessary blindness, more than half are due to cataract – which can be surgically treated. Most of these people live in the developing world, where poor nutrition and limited access to eye care can mean a life limited by needless blindness. Numerous studies have shown that sight restoration with cataract surgery is among the most cost-effective interventions in health care. Some 18 million needlessly-blind cataract patients still await care, most of them with no place to turn.

Social welfare indicators place Togo at the bottom of the planet's human development index (HDI). It was also considered as the least happy country on the planet according to the UN World Happiness Report.


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