The Himalayan Cataract Project (HCP) works to cure needless blindness with the highest quality care at the lowest cost. Since its establishment in 1995, HCP has been committed to overcoming barriers impeding delivery of cataract care to underserved, needlessly blind people in low- and middle-income countries with a focus on providing high-quality care, training local personnel and establishing world-class eye care infrastructure where it is needed most.
In November 2019, HCP conducted high-volume surgical outreaches and training events in Ethiopia and Eritrea. HCP performed 4,300 sight-restoring surgeries and clinical training in less than three weeks' time. The clinical team was from the United States, Nepal, Ethiopia and Eritrea and was a true international effort.
The campaign in Eritrea was the organization's first time performing sight-restoring surgeries in the country. HCP has agreed to return to the region in early 2020 to perform 4,000 additional cataract surgeries. To enable this to happen, we need to raise $100,000 to fund the effort.
Although 1 in 200 people worldwide are blind, a population the size of California, the reality is that 80 percent of blindness is treatable or preventable. In the developing world, 18 million people are unable to perform the tasks of daily living because of easily treatable cataracts that can be addressed with a 10-minute, $25 surgery.
The effects of blindness are profound, and felt mostly by the poor - lives are shortened, men and women are torn from the labor force and children are robbed of a childhood. Blindness accounts for $49 billion in lost productivity each year in low- and middle-income countries.