Sri Lanka Association in Geneva Cataract Project

The Foundation of Goodness, in association with Help Age, has had the wonderful opportunity to facilitate cataract surgeries for rural and impoverished beneficiaries on behalf of the Sri Lanka Association in Geneva.

Globally, cataracts are the most significant cause of blindness (up to 47%). Estimates place the number of blind persons in Sri Lanka between 93,000 – 150,000 (approx. 0.5% of the population) and blindness caused by cataracts account for 70% of this number (WHO). With old age being one of the main reasons for cataracts, and with a rapidly aging population, cataracts will continue to be a serious problem in Sri Lanka.

A cataract is a vision impairment which results from the natural lens of the human eye losing its transparent property, resulting in blurred vision, light sensitivity and reduced perception of colour. The only treatment for cataracts is surgery to implant an artificial lens.

Cataract surgery has been shown to be one of the most cost-effective health-care interventions. Even so, most of the rural low income households of Sri Lanka cannot afford this surgery. Unfortunately the Government Health Service in Sri Lanka does not provide the lens required for cataract operation and the eye drops that are required following cataract surgery are also not available for free. Therefore those cataract patients who can’t afford to buy the lens and eye drops continue to suffer from curable blindness.

When the Sri Lanka Association in Geneva came forward to conduct a project to restore sight through cataract surgeries, the Foundation of Goodness was delighted to partner with them on this venture, with the assistance of Help Age.

The very first batch of 8 cataract patients successfully received surgery in January 2015, followed by a second batch of 8 patients in March, and a third group of 15 patients in April. A fourth batch of 8 patients are scheduled to receive surgery later in July with plans underway to expand the scope of this project to the North and East of Sri Lanka.

Thank you SLAG for this amazing initiative, we look forward to bringing sight to many more Sri Lankan’s who have been trapped in the dark because of poverty. A special thank you also goes to Help Age, for all their assistance in carrying out these surgeries. Here is some feedback we have received from the patients who are now delighted to have their vision back;

“I’m really happy to see from my eye after 14 years. I never had the money to do this before,” said 82 year old Podi Nona who was in the first group to receive surgery.

“For many years, I was blind, and faced great difficulties because of it, unable to complete even my daily activities and tasks. It also resulted in great distress for my family. The most wonderful gift I have ever received in my life is this, the return of my sight, for which you are responsible. I am joined by my family and my children when I express my most sincere respect and gratitude to you, for this most noble act, which is of great merit,” says 64 year old A. W. Nandasena.

“I am so happy because I can see everything now,” A.G. Somasiri, 73 years of age.


24th June 2015



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