July 13, 2024
Cataract Blindness Has Far Reaching Effect Than Envisioned Earlier

When it comes to global poverty or aliment, one factor that has been for a long overlooked is the impact cataract blindness causes. In the last one-decade continuous research has shown that cataract blindness has become a significant health issue. It has become a phenomenon that is no longer associated with old age because the eye condition has pervaded into younger people too.

Some Figures About Cataract Blindness

It has been revealed that out of all the major eye issues that cause blindness, 34.47 per cent is due to cataracts. Fifty-one per cent of the cases go untreated, causing blindness, which is about 20 million people in developing nation’s economic and socially deprived areas.

The American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) has estimated 2 million people receive cataract surgeries annually, and most surgeries are received by patients aged 60 or older.

The National Eye Institute (NEI), unfortunately, in its study, did not mention the percentage of cataract conditions faced by people younger than 40 years old. But in developing nations, in high-altitude areas with less UV protection, cataract conditions have increased even among the younger people.

The Ripple Effect Of Cataract Blindness

In the underprivileged areas of developing nations, cataracts often go untreated, leading to blindness. Philanthropist Tej Kohli has stated that from his work with Dr Sanduk Ruit in eradicating the blindness caused by cataracts, it has been evident that the effect of cataracts is far-reaching.

Since most of the people in these underserved regions are daily wage workers, farmers, or in economic conditions that fail to provide any security, the blindness causes them to lose jobs. While taking care of the patient, the family members lose out on work too, resulting in less income, which plunges them into a far more economically poorer condition.

One family’s condition might not seem to be much of a concern, but in the long run, it will affect the socioeconomic status of the community, village, state, and country. There have also been instances where people suffering from cataracts caused blindness tried to commit suicide.

With the ageing population on the rise and an increase in life expectancy, it is natural that they can work and contribute to the community’s socioeconomic development. Not taking cataract blindness seriously and working towards eradicating it is a huge mistake. Timely treatment can improve the individual’s life and the family, community, village and eventually the state, country and the world.

Tej Kohli & Ruit Foundation Taking On The Burden

Since 2019 entrepreneur Tej Kohli and ophthalmology surgeon Dr Sanduk Ruit have joined hands to eradicate the blindness caused by cataracts in underserved regions of the world. As rightly pointed out by Mr Tej Kohli, the ‘needless blindness’ needs to go, and he and the God of Sight, Dr Ruit, have taken up the mission to eradicate it. The aim is to screen 1,000,000 people and cure at least 500,000 by 2030 as part of 2030 In Sight Mission, – A worldwide Mission To Cure Blindness which is part of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

So far, these two sexagenarians have screened 179,022 patients and cured 23,458 people in Nepal, Bhutan, India and Ghana. Tej Kohli and Dr Ruit will continue to work at the ground level in the underserved regions of developing nations like Tanzania, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Myanmar, and North Korea, to name a few.