Leontine cuddles her daughter as she sees her for the first time, having lost her sight to cataracts.

Improving access to cataract surgery in Ivory Coast

Country: Ivory Coast
Category: Saving sight

Cataracts cause about half of all blindness. They can be easily treated with simple surgery, but for most people in Ivory Coast sight saving treatment is out of reach because there aren’t enough suitable facilities or trained doctors. In the areas we are working, with a population of around 5.4 million people, the Government of Ivory Coast estimates that 31,000 people are blind due to cataracts.

We are enabling more people to get sight-saving cataract surgery by:

  • Training eye-specialists to carry out cataract surgery.
  • Setting up and equipping cataract surgery facilities at regional hospitals, so people do not have to travel hundreds of miles for treatment.
  • Improving referral to hospitals with specialist eye units to ensure patients receive the surgery they require.
  • Providing equipment to universities and teaching hospitals to train medical students in surgery.

The project is funded through a USD 1 million grant from Seeing is Believing, a collaboration between Standard Chartered and the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness, with additional support from the Vitol Foundation and generous individual supporters.


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