Blindness in Mexico
With a population of over 127 million, Mexico is the most populous Spanish-speaking nation in the world. The country has made tremendous strides in combating some forms of preventable blindness. In April 2017, it became the first country in the Americas to eliminate trachoma, an eye disease caused by bacteria that leads to scarring and vision loss.
However, other diseases remain prevalent. More than a million people in Mexico are completely blind from cataracts, glaucoma, macular degeneration, and diabetic retinopathy. An estimated 2.3 million people have cataracts, leading to $33.2 million in productivity losses. According to the World Health Organization, over 10% of the population suffers from diabetes. Consequently, rates of blindness caused by diabetes are expected to skyrocket in the near future.
SEE in Mexico
Due to the country’s proximity to the United States, SEE has been able to establish many relationships to provide regular sight-restoring care and support many local doctors in Mexico for over 40 years! Key locations include Tecate, Guaymas, Tuxtla, Jerez, San Quintin, Xocempich, Tijuana, and Zihuatanejo. Longtime SEE volunteers like Dr. Jim Conahan return to clinic sites multiple times each year, building lasting relationships within the community.
Additionally, SEE has established partnerships with many local organizations to expand our work in Mexico. For instance, Rotary Clubs in the towns of Celaya and Morelia partner with us to lead local sight-restoring campaigns. In order to increase access to care, Liga International in El Fuerte, and the Lions Club of Meoqui, have partnered with SEE to work with in-country ophthalmologists to provide prescreening and other optometric services for these clinics. SEE also cooperates with the Asociación de Padres de Niños Mentalmente Inhabilitados, which is led by dedicated SEE volunteer Dr. Kenneth Turley. This partnership provides necessary cataract and other eye surgeries to the people in Nuevo Casas Grandes twice a year.
For all these reasons, SEE is very grateful to all of our partners who collaborate with us to restore sight and transform lives.