New York, NY - In recognition of World Sight Day, today HelpMeSee has submitted its petition to the United Nations calling for support to train specialists to treat cataracts, which is the leading cause of preventable blindness around the world. The petition was submitted by HelpMeSee's CEO Jacob Mohan Thazthathu on behalf of over 12,000 signatories to the UN’s headquarters in New York City.
World Sight Day, a global holiday established by the UN’s World Health Organization to raise awareness about eye health and bring attention to blindness and eye health, is celebrated each October by HelpMeSee and its partners around the world. The WHO estimates over 20 million people, most of whom live in developing countries, are blind from cataracts despite that their sight can be restored by a high-quality and cost-effective surgery. This petition submitted by HelpMeSee calls on the UN to support an increase of training for cataract specialists needed to treat the millions of cataract blind around the world.
Speaking about the petition, Mr. Thazhathu said, “In submitting this petition to the United Nations, HelpMeSee is fulfilling its mission to end the global health crisis of cataracts. By training the thousands of cataract specialists needed in the developing world, we can create a sustainable solution which will eliminate cataract blindness for millions of people.”
Since its founding in 2010, HelpMeSee has been developing a comprehensive training program centered on simulation-based training using a high-fidelity Eye Surgical Simulator. Once completed, the Eye Surgical Simulator will be used to train highly skilled cataract specialists at the scale needed to reduce the backlog of patients awaiting treatment.
HelpMeSee has a special consultative status to the United Nations as an official NGO selected by the Economic and Social Council. Working together our partners in developing countries, HelpMeSee’s program contributes towards the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals which promote equality, economic growth, and ensure global well-being. By submitting this petition to the United Nations, HelpMeSee hopes to raise awareness about the impact of cataract blindness and the shortage of skilled specialists, while continuing promoting collaboration with its partners around the world.
HelpMeSee is a non-profit social enterprise committed to ending the global crisis of cataract blindness, the leading cause of blindness worldwide. HelpMeSee intends to make sight-restoring surgery available to millions of poor within their communities by training tens of thousands surgeons, many women, to perform high quality, high volume Manual Small Incision Cataract Surgery (MSICS) surgery. Since 2012, the campaign has supported nearly 250,000 surgeries through partnerships across ten countries in Asia, Africa, and Latin America.