Blindness in El Salvador
El Salvador is the smallest country in Central America, but has the highest population density. Before the 15th century, it was home to the indigenous Lenca and Olmec civilizations. The Olmecs, in particular, left behind stunning architectural marvels in the country’s Western regions. The Salvadoran health care system is still recovering from the brutal civil war that took place from 1979-1992. As a result, the government has struggled to provide high quality medical care throughout the country. While basic eye care is available in large cities like San Salvador, smaller towns and villages are often isolated, and residents cannot access care. Consequently, over 120,000 Salvadorans suffer from blindness, with the majority suffering from cataracts.
SEE in El Salvador
SEE has been providing free eye services throughout El Salvador since 1992. In 2017, SEE held 3 expeditions in the country – specifically in Santa Ana, Santa Tecla, and Perquín. These programs treated hundreds of patients and provided them with free cataract, strabismus and pterygium surgeries.
In Santa Tecla, SEE collaborates with Peace Health/Paz Salud to provide sight-restoring cataract surgeries and other eye treatments at Hospital Nacional San Rafael. SEE also collaborates with Eye Care International to provide care throughout El Salvador. In 2017, the joint team will provide much-needed care in Perquín.