It is estimated that 40,000 people in Sierra Leone are blind. Being blind means that you cannot work and you depend on others to help you. It can leave you feeling isolated and depressed. It also means that children miss out on their education because they are the ones left to look after the blind person. Yet 80% of blindness can be cured or prevented.

Help Madina has trained nurse Augusta Turay, the senior nurse at the Catholic Mission Clinic, to carry out basic eye care. There is an emphasis on dealing with the most common causes of blindness: cataract and blurred vision.

Child looking after blind grandmother

Help Madina has linked up with the Baptist Eye Hospital in Lunsar to provide cataract surgery for people in and around Madina. The charity pays for the majority of the patient’s costs.

The operation can be life changing. For example Melvin, one of the local tailors in Madina who was unable to work, can now make a living for himself and his family.

Help Madina also provide reading glasses. People aged from about 40 years often need glasses not only for reading but for jobs like sorting rice and some have even come to the clinic from Freetown, the capital to buy spectacles from our clinic.

Other common causes of a visit to the eye clinic are itchy or red eyes for which we can provide good quality medication. Furthermore, the nurse has been trained to remove objects from the eyes such as grains of rice, which can cause blindness.

The impact of a cataract operation or a pair of glasses is huge. In future we hope to provide more people with training and continue our partnership with the hospitals so that even more local people can benefit. Want to support this work? Donate here.