Childhood Blindness Prevention: Seva Canada Programs in Malawi

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  • One of the thousands of children who had his eyes examined in Malawi

  • Eye control visit at the Lions Sight First Eye Hospital

  • A mother brings her daughter to the hospital with a severe eye infection

  • The eye children'€™s ward of the Lions Sight First Eye Hospital

  • A young patient waiting for cataract surgery in the children's ward

  • Two surgeons operate at the same time in the main theatre at the Lions Sight First Eye Hospital

  • The surgeon cleaning his hands before starting surgery

  • Preparations in the main theatre

  • A young patient is waking up after anesthesia

  • Going to the theatre for cataract surgery

  • Cataract surgery at Lions Sight First Eye Hospital, one of Seva Canada partner in Malawi

  • Two students attend operations to improve their skills, as future surgeons

  • A small child gets an eye patch after cataract surgery

  • Children always smile, also in theatre few minutes before cataract surgery

  • A young patient being prepped for eye cataract surgery

  • Electricity blackouts daily happen and the generator for the theatre is manually activated; in the meantime, everybody waits in the theatre

  • Child cataract patient in the children's ward after his cataract surgery

  • Parents and children in the children's ward of the Sight First Eye Hospital stay before and after their cataract surgery

  • Child cataract patient sitting on his bed in the children'€™s ward of the Lions Sight First Eye Hospital in Blantyre

  • Follow-up care and the provision of glasses are important parts of fighting childhood blindness

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Seva Canada is a charitable organization providing high-quality, comprehensive eye care services for children and adults in Malawi, as well as 8 other countries in the developing world. For children, congenital and developmental cataracts are the leading causes of blindness. Seva’s Childhood Blindness Program in Malawi is dedicated to reducing childhood blindness through early identification of children with visual impairment, providing appropriate interventions such as cataract surgery, and follow up.

Without urgent care, children face a lifetime of blindness and missed potential. There’s a terrible cycle of blindness and poverty with blindness; having a blind person to care for drives families deeper into poverty.

My photographic work for Seva in Malawi focused on the activities at the Lions Sight First Eye Hospital in Blantyre: the project focuses mainly on children with cataract in order to provide appropriate treatment, including surgery, follow- up and provision of prescription glasses.

About the Author

Paolo Patruno is a humanitarian photographer who creates evocative, compelling images which promote action and change for the sake of the most vulnerable people in the world. Paolo’s social documentary work gives a powerful voice to the people that need support by capturing the real need for the work of NGOs, aid and non-profit organizations in pictures.


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2 thoughts on “Childhood Blindness Prevention: Seva Canada Programs in Malawi

  1. Mary P. says:

    Beautiful, touching photographs

  2. Leon says:

    Wonderful, beautiful essay. Well-done YJIA.

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