By Nilay Kar Onum
ISTANBUL (AA) – Turkish Red Crescent, locally known as Kizilay, is giving hope to hundreds of people in the Sudanese capital Khartoum by helping them undergo eye surgeries.
As part of a cataract surgery project, the agency together with the Sudanese Health Ministry is covering the expenses for surgeries of 400 patients, according to a statement.
In a short period, 200 more people are expected to regain full sight through the project of the agency, bringing the total number to 600.
The surgeries are being performed simultaneously at two hospitals in Khartoum.
Ismail Hakki Turunc, vice president of Kizilay, said: “We have this time started a project of cataract surgery in Sudan, where we have been providing both medical and health support and organizing food aid for a long time.”
Stating that there were tens of thousands of people, who suffer from cataract in the country, Turunc said: “We will help 400 people in the first stage and then 200 people [in the next stage] and we are working to cover expenses of more people’s cataract surgeries.”
Abdulmumin Ahmet, 69, who lives in a village near Khartoum, is one of the dozens of people who underwent surgery as part of the project.
“Due to the cataract, I had lost sight for several years. I did not have the money to be treated. I pray for everyone, who helped me regain sight,” Ahmet said.
According to the World Health Organization, cataracts cause a third of worldwide blindness, affecting approximately 12.6 million people. Cataracts additionally cause moderate to severe vision loss in 52.6 million people, 99 percent of whom live in developing countries.