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Mission Donating Light

In the least-developed countries, and in particular Sub-Saharan Africa, cataracts are responsible for half of all avoidable blindness. Other causes include glaucoma (15%), corneal opacities (10%), trachoma (6.8%), childhood blindness (5.3%), and onchocerciasis (4%). A simple, low-cost, one-time procedure can restore full sight to patients with cataracts, but in too many places those procedures are not yet available. Donating light mission was held in 2008 by Italian ophthalmologists in collaboration with  Italian air force to operate cataracts in Gao and Bamako villages, in Mali. Each patient traveled a long way blind, lead by hand by a parent, and left home with one seeing eye. Many patients were Tuareg, inhabitants of the Sahara Desert. Their beards were colored according to the different tribes they belonged to.

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