Barraquer Foundation wrapped up a week of life-changing cataract surgery operations for 250 low-income people in Angola, after having already treated 1,000 patients over four years in the south-central African country.
Elena Barraquer performed cataract surgeries for five days at a hospital in the capital Luanda, treating a condition that is responsible for 50 percent of blindness cases globally and is the main cause of blindness in developing countries with malnutrition and high solar exposure.
Surgery is the only solution for cataracts, but the more efficient and safer techniques are costly and require specialized training, with Barraquer assisted by a team of optometrists, anesthetists, assistant ophthalmologists and Spanish nurses.The required medical equipment to perform a cataract surgery costs 190 euros ($220), putting it out of reach for ordinary people in countries like Angola.
Barraquer’s work is the fruit of an agreement signed in 2014 between Angolan health authorities and the Sphera Global Health Care, which provide logistic and human support through their volunteer program.
The previous surgical missions were carried out in 2014 and 2015 at two hospitals in the capital Luanda, while the third was in 2016 in the southwestern province of Namibe.