HCP and WEEMA International deliver 1,131 surgeries in Hosanna

Earlier this month Himalayan Cataract Project Chairman Dr. Geoff Tabin, in collaboration with Weema International and Ethiopian surgeons from Hosanna, Durame, Woldiya and Addis Ababa, delivered 1,131 sight-restoring cataract surgeries in Hosanna, Ethiopia in the Hadiya Zone of SNNP Regional State. The Hosanna region has approximately 5 million inhabitants and only one ophthalmologist. Ethiopia has one of the highest rates of blindness in the world with a cataract backlog estimated to be over 600,000.

WEEMA International is based in Arlington, MA and was founded in 2011 with the purpose of bringing clean water to the people living in Mudula, Ethiopia, but has since broadened its goals to “empower Ethiopian communities through clean water access, education, economic opportunity and health care”. This is the third cataract outreach campaign that HCP and WEEMA have supported and implemented together to restore vision to hundreds suffering from needless blindness.

After the cataract outreach in Hosanna, Dr. Tabin travelled to the Quiha Zonal Hospital in Mekelle (northern Ethiopia) to work with long-time partners to provide over 800 cataract surgeries. It was during this second leg of the campaign that we learned about our nomination as semi-finalists for the MacArthur Foundation's 100&Change competition.

“When we received the MacArthur Foundation news, I thought that doing 100 life-changing surgeries would be a good omen. I did 101 cataract surgeries that day.”