Volunteer doctors associated with a Turkish aid group carried out 5,441 cataract surgeries in 2018, the head of the group said on Wednesday.
Speaking to Anadolu Agency, Yahyahan Güney, chairman of Istanbul-based Yeryüzü Doktorları Association (YDD), said the group conducted 164,000 examinations, 5,441 surgeries and 1,800 nutrition therapies for needy people in 2018.
Talking about the YDD operations in 2018, Güney said: "We carried out crisis and emergency projects, therapeutic healthcare, nutrition, maternal health, preventive healthcare, medical training, psychosocial support, medication, consumables and hygiene material support, and equipment and system support projects."
Güney stressed the importance of helping people in countries – such as Palestine, Syria and Somalia – where war, conflicts and natural disasters make it difficult for people to receive healthcare.
"Cataracts are triggered by poor living conditions, malnutrition, geographical and climatic conditions in addition to head and eye traumas," said Dr. Hasan Oktay Özkan, vice chairman of the YDD. He added that the aid group is launching a donation campaign for cataract operations.
One cataract operation costs TL 500, and people can donate money via text messages, according to the YDD's website. Around 285 million people are estimated to be visually impaired worldwide, and 100 million of them suffer from cataracts, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).