Medical Intervention

We have the opportunity to help with many vision-related medical situations, particularly cataract surgery. Adult cataract surgery is very inexpensive, and is often done in an assembly-line process, even in rural settings, sometimes with hundreds of surgeries over several days.

Pediatric surgery is more expensive, largely because of the need for full anesthesia (because children are less compliant than adults) in an urban hospital, requiring an adult companion, and travel and lodging expenses for two. But timely cataract surgery for children is critically important, not only because children have so many years of potential ahead of them, but because after several years without sight, the brain switches visual ability off, and repair is no longer possible.

This short video describes a 2019 cataract project with which we assisted. Most funding was provided by an online giving platform, eMite. With the tireless work of Resources for the Blind, Philippines staff, and generous hospitals and surgeons in Manila and Cebu, 14 children from remote locations received cataract surgery to improve their vision.

Here are two examples of typical patients. Funds received will be directed toward those deemed most urgent by local workers, based on a variety of factors such as medical urgency, logistics, geographic availability of care, or the opportunity to accomplish several surgeries at once.

Kyle, Cebu City, Philippines, age 12

Kyle was born with a bilateral congenital cataract. He is staying with his grandparents as his parents have been separated since he was one year old. His father's meager income could hardly support his scholastic and medical needs. For this reason, his teachers and parents asked the assistance of Resources for the Blind, Inc. 

Michelle, Cebu City, Philippines, age 7

Michelle is the eldest of two siblings. Her eye problem surfaced a month after she was born. Worried about her situation, her parents sought the help of their community health workers. Having learned that her problem is a case of congenital cataract, her parents were saddened and clueless on how they can provide for her medical needs given their little income.

One day, they were referred to a special education teacher who also referred them to RBI. At present, they are hopeful that through RBI Michelle will soon be operated and get her vision improved. 

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