Gransnet meets Orbis patients in Cameroon

January 2018

Cari Rosen is writer and editor of Gransnet – a social networking site for readers aged 50+. She recently visited the Flying Eye Hospital and our partners in Yaoundé, Cameroon, to meet women with visual impairment and join our medical volunteers while they trained local doctors.

Cari met 60-year-old grandmother Honorine. Honorine’s cataract was so severe that she could no longer cook or sew. While Honorine still worked, she could barely see the machete she used as a peanut and maize farmer, so was terrified she would hurt herself. 

Cari herself had previously had a cataract removed – only Cari’s was spotted early on in a routine eye examination. In contrast to Honorine, Cari’s cataract was spotted so early she had not even noticed its effects. Her only inconvenience was not being able to drive for two weeks after the operation to have it removed.

Honorine And Cari Gransnet

Gransnet editor Cari Rosen met grandmother Honorine 3000 miles away in Cameroon

When Honorine discovered Orbis would support her treatment on our Flying Eye Hospital and she wouldn’t need to pay the 250,000 francs she thought she would need for the routine cataract surgery, Honorine and her family were so grateful. 

And when she heard she was one of the first women to be operated on, she believed it was a ‘miracle’.

Watch: Honorine undergoes treatment on our Flying Eye Hospital

Of the 253 million visually impaired people worldwide, 80% are aged 50 years and older 

(Source: Community Eye Health Journal)

Honorine Screening

Honorine is first screened by an Orbis volunteer surgeon at Yaoundé Central Hospital

A big thanks to Cari for visiting our work in Cameroon on World Sight Day and taking the time to bring much needed attention to the issue of avoidable blindness among women in their 50s - who are often at the back of the queue when it comes to medical care. 

And of course a big thanks to our amazing volunteers, staff and supporters who make all this possible. We couldn't do it without you! 

Stay tuned for more next week as we delve further into the impact your support has had on Honorine's life. 

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