Since 2007, Planeterra has raised over $46,000 and sponsored three micro-surgical eye camps in rural Tibet. Each camp has ranged in cost from $10,000 - $15,000, which included training local doctors and purchasing surgical cataract instruments for remote health clinics. With your support, we have given the gift of sight to 492 men, women and children through highly cost-effective cataract surgeries.
A summary of the camps funded by Planeterra:
1. CAMP 1: Held in August of 2008 in Chabcha in the Tsolho Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture near Lake Kokonor at which a total of 432 people with eye problems were examined and treated and 212 cataract-blind patients received sight-restoring cataract surgery. Seva, Planeterra's project partner also used the camp as an opportunity to further train local eye care professionals.
2. CAMP 2: In August 2009, 117 patients with various eye conditions were examined; 86 sight restoring surgeries were performed, split 38 female, 48 male. The oldest patient was 87 and the youngest was 26.
3. CAMP 3: In July 2011, at Derong in Kandze Prefecture a total of 194 cataract surgeries were performed, including two children.
Donations received in late 2011 will ensure that patients who can not afford eye care will still receive it. Patient subsidies will cover transportation to and from the hospital, surgery, surgical supplies, medicine and food.
Tibet has one of the highest rates of blindness in the world. While most of this blindness is due to cataract, a disease associated with aging, it is also prevalent among children and adults.
Many Tibetans affected by blindness live in remote areas without eye care services. They are often unaware of available treatments, or simply unable to reach a hospital because of poverty and lack of transportation. With scattered populations spread across great distances, surgical eye camps are the most efficient way to treat the high rate of cataract.
Planeterra’s support contributes to the valuable work of Seva Canada who conducts 3,500 sight-restoring surgeries on an annual basis. In order to eliminate preventable blindness in Tibet, this volume needs to be tripled.
Check out Seva Canada's Her Sight is Worth It video contest, sponsored by Planeterra!