Tragedy of Africa’s youth affected by vision loss

Our eye surgeon Mark Wevill has made another trip to Swaziland this month, where he has been confronted with the stark realities of healthcare limitations in Africa.

Mark regularly visits Swaziland in order to donate his time and expertise to help combat the wide-spread eye health problems found there. In the course of his work carrying out cataract operations, he usually meets and treats older patients whose eyesight is failing.

On his latest trip, Mark came across an even more tragic story concerning a young man who had looked forward to a bright future.

Alfonso (name changed), a 25-year-old IT consultant, travelled to Swaziland from Maputo, the capital of Mozambique, in order to be examined at the hospital where Mark volunteers. Mark discovered that Alfonso recently lost the sight in one eye due to a devastating case of Mooren’s ulcer, a condition that causes damage to the cornea. Sadly, the examination revealed that the vision in Alfonso’s other eye is also now deteriorating.

With no support network to help him, Alfonso is likely to lose his job and therefore his livelihood, along with his eyesight.

Although the hospital will do what it can for Alfonso, resources for eye surgery in Africa are very limited – Alfonso was forced to drive from one country to another just to be examined. Treatments and drugs are very expensive so, without assistance, the hospital will struggle to help Alfonso and young people like him.

Here in the UK, we’re very fortunate to have access to world-class laser eye surgery treatments at facilities like Laser Eye Surgery Birmingham. We want everyone, around the globe, to receive the treatment they need to keep their vision for as long as possible.

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