Israel brings its innovative spirit to the developing world through MASHAV, including cataract eye treatment, a simple procedure that can restore vision.
They shuffle in one by one, and though it’s broad daylight outside, to them, their life is shrouded in darkness. They are the patients of MASHAV eye camps, which have popped up across Africa to aid people with cataracts.
In Western countries, cataract removal is an inconvenient, but quickly treatable procedure. But in the developing world, cataracts often translate into blindness.
At these eye camps, established by MASHAV (a Hebrew acronym for Israel’s Agency for International Development Cooperation), Israeli doctors administer a quick procedure that restores their sight.
“Once you have Israeli doctors in these camps conducting very simple procedures, they are literally eye-openers,” Ambassador Gil Haskel, the head of MASHAV said. “They come in blind, and within 30 minutes of treatment they have full vision. Once they open their eyes, the first thing they see in front of them is an Israeli doctor and an Israeli flag, and that is always very heartwarming.”