People like Tera don't have to live with blindness

2021 May Tera Cataracts website-only campaign - LP Mob-Max-Quality

But for too many people living in poverty, treatment is out of reach.

Will you give the gift of sight?

 

People like Tera don't have to live with blindness

But for too many people living in poverty, treatment is out of reach. Will you give the gift of sight?

 

Hundreds of thousands of people like Tera are needlessly blind because sight-saving treatment is out of reach.

Worldwide, a shocking 3 out of 4 people who are blind don’t need to be. And every day, people in the world’s poorest places become needlessly blind because of conditions that could easily be treated.

But vital eye health services are simply out of reach. Many men, women and children in poverty have no access to the most basic of eye health services. 

Too often for people living in poverty, losing your sight also means losing the chance to go to school, live independently or earn a living. For those living on the edge, the impact is devastating - whole families pushed deeper into poverty and hunger. 

Will you donate today to help people like Tera get treated as soon as possible?

 

Tera lives with his wife Anna in rural Zimbabwe, Southern Africa.

The couple live on their own, growing vegetables to eat, and when they can grow enough, to sell. Three years ago, Tera started having eye problems.

Gradually his vision deteriorated, and grey shadows began taking the place of vivid colour. Eventually, Tera’s sight got so bad that he had to accept that he simply couldn’t live the life he used to.

Today, he relies on others to work on their smallholding. Instead of Tera taking the cattle for grazing every day, Anna goes out in the hot sun to look after the cows – it is strenuous and tiring work, and Anna finds it very difficult. She said she misses having the help of her husband.

Tera thought that his eye problems would heal over time, but soon the milky covering of cataracts stopped him from seeing beyond two metres. He has found not being able to look after his garden or livestock very challenging.

Having to move around with a cane is not something you can easily come to terms with, especially if you could see before.

Tera, aged 76, with his wife Anna

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Living in a rural part of Zimbabwe, the couple have no support from family or relatives. Before his sight deteriorated, Tera and Anna went to church, but the embarrassment Tera felt at losing his sight stopped him from asking for help.

“We have not gotten any aid from the church”, Tera says, “because I did not find it comfortable moving around telling people my problem.”

Anna had heard that people could get help for eye problems, and she encouraged her husband to seek advice. The journey to a health clinic isn’t easy – Tera would have to hitchhike 6km to the clinic.

But the reality is that even if Tera could manage the journey on his own, it is doubtful that he could get help. Zimbabwe has one of the highest rates of avoidable blindness in the world. The leading cause is cataracts, which can be treated with straightforward surgery. But the country has a desperate shortage of trained eye health workers, and most hospitals don’t have the equipment they need.

The situation has worsened with coronavirus. At one point, our partner hospital, the Norton Eye Unit, was the only hospital in the whole country carrying out cataract operations.  They were overwhelmed with demand.

 

For people like Tera and Anna, we must act now.

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You can help to support the safe scale-up of access to sight-restoring cataract surgery and other treatments, as soon as the threat of coronavirus subsides.

Not only will your gift help provide sight-saving surgery, but also help people like Tera support themselves, to get around safely and earn a living.

As well as funding life-changing treatment, your gift will help train local health workers and nurses, ensure that hospitals have suitable equipment and strengthen eye health systems for the future.

With your gift, people who can’t afford treatment can get the help they need, and people like Tera have the opportunity to get back their sight, their independence and their livelihoods.

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Christian Blind Mission UK is registered with the Charity Commission of England and Wales as charity number 1058162, and with the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator as charity number SC041101.

© CBM UK Ltd. All rights reserved.


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