The Mercy Vision program addresses surgical and medical eye needs in environments where preventable blindness is widespread. In poor nations 33.3 million people are blind as eye care is inaccessible. In fact, most blind children do not survive past the age of 5. An incredible 80% of those affected can have their vision restored through proper treatment (Source: WHO).
The primary emphasis of Mercy Ships surgical intervention is to reduce blindness as a result of cataracts. Non-surgical eye care focuses on allergy, infection, injury and pain. Sunglasses are distributed to protect sensitive eyes after operations, and reading glasses are supplied to visually impaired patients. The program also provides many opportunities to train local surgeons and provide ophthalmic training for local health workers.
Mercy Ships ophthalmic surgeons perform free, critical eye surgeries, providing patients renewed sight and improved quality of life. Community based eye clinics provide basic eye care to treat acute problems and prevent blindness.
Cataracts are the most common cause of avoidable blindness worldwide. However, most incidents of cataract blindness are curable and sight can be restored with a low-cost 20 minute eye surgery. Mercy Ships cataract surgeries combine modern technologies with technology appropriate for Africa. Eye care is provided at no cost to the patient.
Mercy Ships eye surgeons perform procedures to correct pterygium (growths on the cornea of the eye), strabismus (crossed eyes) and eyelid deformities, and also remove painful blind eyes, replacing them with natural appearing prostheses.