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alio mauritania

The 16th expedition of the Nouadhibou Vision Project, led by the Vissum Grupo Miranza ophthalmologist, will operate on 300 people for cataracts, the leading cause of avoidable blindness in the world

The Jorge Alió Foundation, chaired by Dr Jorge Alió, a specialist at Vissum Grupo Miranza, is organising its 16th expedition to Mauritania, as part of the Nouadhibou Vision Project, which it has been developing for more than 15 years. The aim of this new expedition is to perform 300 cataract surgeries, the main cause of blindness in the area, due to difficulties in accessing adequate eye care.

Cataracts are a disorder we currently operate on with great efficiency and excellent results, but the lack of resources in the poorest regions means that they still cause significant loss of vision for many people, with the limitations that this entails for everyday life”, stresses Dr Jorge Alió. In fact, according to the IAPB (International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness), it is estimated that 17 million people in the world are blind due to cataracts, which represents 40% of all cases of blindness. “As it is an avoidable cause of visual impairment, our commitment is to contribute to alleviating its impact and improving the quality of life of patients in Mauritania, as well as the nomadic people of Mali and southern Sahara, who are participating in the project.”

To this end, the Jorge Alió Foundation expedition will send a team of 14 people (including the director of the organisation, 3 surgeons, 3 instrumentalists, 4 optometrists, 2 nurses and 1 maintenance manager). The surgeries will be carried out at the Nouadhibou Vision Hospital, launched by the Foundation in 2017, whose 800 square metres are equipped with advanced technological equipment “to offer diagnoses and treatments with all the thoroughness and quality with which we understand ophthalmology.”

A far-reaching project

More than 3,500 cataract operations have already been performed at the Nouadhibou centre and more than 10,000 patients have been visited. Its construction and consolidation as a benchmark in eye health care in the area has made it possible to integrate all eye care services (from prevention to treatment and patient rehabilitation) and reach the most neglected groups, such as ethnic minorities, women, disabled people and the elderly. In addition to cataracts, other common issues treated include glaucoma and, in the case of children and young people, uncorrected refractive errors, severe conjunctivitis or trachoma, the main infectious disease causing blindness worldwide, which, in endemic areas, can affect 60% to 90% of pre-school children.

In order to promote international cooperation and to continue expanding the work of the Nouadhibou Vision Project, the Jorge Alió Foundation will present the initiative in Alicante on 24 March. The event will raise funds for the expedition, whereas the onboarding of an ophthalmologist will allow the team to perform some hundred surgeries. If you are interested in cooperating, you can do so and get more information through this link.