Cataract Surgeries That Restore Sight
Cataracts, a clouding of the lens of an eye, are the largest cause of blindness worldwide, affecting 100 million people.
But the good news is that this leading form of blindness can be treated with surgery.
For only $25, a 20-minute surgery can restore someone’s vision within 24 hours.
Since 1984, our International Cataract Program has supported over 1.9 million adult vision screenings and more than 375,000 surgeries.
Why Cataracts Matter
Cataracts are a public health, social and economic problem.
Vision loss due to cataracts dramatically impacts individuals, their families and their communities. In the countries we serve, cataract patients and their families often face poverty due to loss of household income.
Low- and middle-income countries lose millions in GDP every year due to blindness.
Restoring vision improves a person’s well-being, and it helps break the cycle of poverty through greater opportunities for work and education.
Restoring vision enables people to provide for their families and contribute to their community’s economy.
1.9 Million +
A cataract surgery is one of the most cost-effective ways to give the gift of sight. CBI supports 20-minute procedures that cost as little as $25, restoring the patient’s vision within 24 hours.
Access to Care
People are often unable to receive care due to geography, population density, or other factors that hinder screening. Expanding screening programs allows more people to have access to care that they might not have otherwise.
Blindness affects not only the individual but their families and communities. Children often drop out of school to care for blind relatives.
People who regain their vision generate 1,500 percent of the cost of their cataract surgery in increased productivity during the first year after their surgery. Each cataract surgery allows individuals toto return to work, support their families, and contribute to their communities.
In rural areas of many countries, people are often unaware that treatments for their blindness exist. By reaching more people we will see a correlating increase in awareness for preventable blindness.
Many low-income countries struggle to perform cataract surgeries at a high enough rate to outpace new cases, causing a backlog of patients waiting for surgery. Providing cataract surgeries reduces this strain on in-country facilities. Case in point: In 2019, Combat Blindness International joined forces with four other entities to eliminate a backlog of over 6,000 cataract cases in Botswana.
Hover over the image to see a visualization of what someone might see before and after cataract surgery.