- There is an estimated 0.75% prevalence of blindness in South Africa, amounting to about 388 280 people. (SA National Council for the Blind)
- 80% of the cases in South Africa are avoidable. That’s about 310 623 people who are unnecessarily blind. (SA National Council for the Blind)
- Half of all blind children in South Africa (0.5% of the population/258 853 people) would not be blind if they had access to eye health services at an early age. (ORBIS Africa)
- Cataracts cause about 100 people a day to go needlessly blind. (NDOH Guidelines for Cataract Surgery in South Africa, 2001)
- There are just over 3000 optometrists in SA, about 95% practise in the private sector. (http://www.bhfglobal.com-Oct 10, 2012)
- Of the 275 registered ophthalmologists in South Africa, about 250 work in private practice serving 20% of the population, while only 25 ophthalmologists seemingly cater for the bulk of the population who are dependent on the public health system. (http://www.bhfglobal.com-Oct 10, 2012)
This is just one of the many clinics in the area. We really want to continue to reach people in this way. Not only do we want to see more people through the other clinics, but we are currently investigating how we can get complicated and expensive eye surgery to those who need it.
In John 9: 1-5 it says:
“As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, ’Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?’
’Neither this man nor his parents sinned,’ said Jesus, ’but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him. As long as it is day, we must do the works of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work. While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.’”
Like Jesus, while we are in this world we must work. Although we are excited about bringing physical healing to these people, it is their spiritual transformation that must be our main priority. By physically restoring the sight of these people we hope to display the love of God to them. Our ultimate goal is to use this opportunity to open their eyes to the truth and the light that is Jesus Christ.