Blindness in the Dominican Republic
The Dominican Republic is the second largest Caribbean nation. It is located on the eastern part of the island of Hispaniola, which it shares with Haiti. The country boasts one of the fastest growing economies in the Americas; the number of Dominicans living in poverty has declined by 6% in a span of just two years. However, the country spends far less of its GDP on health (1.6%), compared to the regional average (4.5%). Consequently, there are still 33,000 Dominicans with bilateral blindness, the vast majority of whom have cataracts.
To achieve its goal of eradicating preventable blindness by 2020, it is estimated that the Dominican Republic must perform 12,000 more cataract surgeries every year.
SEE in the Dominican Republic
Our doctors have provided free eye care and surgeries in the Dominican Republic since 1997. SEE is planning twelve expeditions in 2017, where SEE surgeons will treat approximately 1,000 people in need. Our teams collaborate with a variety of local organizations to restore sight throughout the country. Previously, SEE has worked in Barahona with Children of the Nations (COTN), San Pedro de Macoris with Hawaiian Eye, and Santiago with Island Impact. We have also provided badly-needed eye care in Santo Domingo (the capital city), La Romana, Puerto Plata, and Moca.
Global Partners in Sight
Dr. Sankara Mahesh helped this patient in Puerto Plata who was so joyful after her sight-restoring cataract surgery she cried, laughed, and told her son, “I don’t have any pot of gold or silver to give you, but have lots of love to give you.”