machine: A phaco machine breaks a
cataract into tiny pieces and then suctions those pieces from the eye through a very small
incision. Prior to the development of the phaco machine, the cataract was
normally removed in one piece, requiring a larger incision, sutures, and more
trauma to the eye. The phaco procedure is also faster than previous surgery,
usually requiring less than 15 minutes per eye.
are expensive and are not found at every hospital. Doctors using the machine
require specialized training and must have extensive experience doing cataract
surgery. Because of the doctors’ expertise, reduced surgery time and less
invasive procedure, phaco machines are a point of differentiation for a
hospital, which helps to increase revenues and move toward self-sustainability.
health-seeking behaviour: Poor eye health-seeking
behaviour is found in many developing nations, including India and Africa. It
refers to people who are experiencing problems with their eyesight but are not
taking care of their vision or seeking medical attention when needed. We’ve
learned there are many good reasons for this, such as simple lack of awareness
that help is available, superstitions or myths about eyes, one’s station in
life, a bad experience receiving treatment in the past, inability to pay for
services or not being able to travel to a clinic or hospital. Our experience
shows us that grassroots education and awareness campaigns go a long way to
addressing many of these barriers.
In addition, Operation Eyesight takes
eye care directly to communities and offers it free of
charge when necessary. If a community is to be free of avoidable blindness,
there must be general understanding and acceptance of basic eye health – people
must desire good eyesight and they must seek it.
Most blindness is treatable or preventable.