With global partners, nonprofit uses innovative technology to help restore sight
HelpMeSee, which uses simulation-based training to help eradicate cataract blindness, has reached a milestone with the training of its 1,000th cataract specialist in 2022. The global nonprofit partners with innovators, universities and governments to establish training centers around the world to meet the growing need to provide surgery for people with cataract blindness.
“As we reach this milestone for the year, we are grateful to our global partners and supporters for their commitment to restoring the gift of sight,” said Saro Jahani, president and CEO. “Using the power of virtual reality and simulation-based training, we are building scalable solutions, based on innovation that changes lives. Together, we are focused on solving a humanitarian crisis that has brought unnecessary suffering to millions of people around the world.”
According to the International Association for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB), more than 100 million people are blind or visually impaired due to untreated cataracts. That number is projected to grow significantly unless action is taken now. Although many cases of cataract blindness can be cured through surgery, the challenge worldwide is a shortage of talent that can perform cataract surgery, particularly in the developing world.
HelpMeSee and its partners are working to help people like those living in Madagascar, where cataracts are the cause of a mounting public health crisis. As an example of the challenge that exists in the developing world, this nation of 26 million people has only 25 cataract surgeons available to perform surgery and restore the gift of sight.
In addition to celebrating this milestone, HelpMeSee has received a transformational gift of $3 million from a longtime, anonymous donor that will allow every gift made through the end of 2022 to be matched dollar for dollar. This gift doubles the impact of other donors through the end of the year and will accelerate the nonprofit’s mission and help to train thousands of cataract specialists who will restore sight for people in need.
In a world where 100 million people are blind or visually impaired due to cataracts, HelpMeSee works to eradicate cataract blindness using virtual reality and simulation-based training. The nonprofit was founded by Al and Jim Ueltschi, who saw the opportunity to end suffering by delivering innovation from the aviation industry to the fight against cataract blindness. A cofounder of Orbis International and founder of FlightSafety International, Al Ueltschi was an icon in the aviation industry who was devoted to treating preventable blindness in the developing world. Today, his legacy lives on through HelpMeSee. The organization trains cataract specialists who are needed to ensure all communities, especially those with severe economic hardship, have access to cataract treatment as a human right to sight. With more than 40 simulators and 11 training centers worldwide, the organization partners with governments, universities and innovators to fight the global cataract blindness crisis. For more information, visit http://www.helpmesee.org.
Media Contact: Kelley Denny 412-352-9240, [email protected]