TURKEY

Turkish aid group performs 5,441 cataract surgeries

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Volunteer doctors associated with a Turkish aid group carried out 5,441 cataract surgeries in 2018, head of the group said on Wednesday.

Speaking to Anadolu Agency, Yahyahan Guney, chairman of Istanbul-based Yeryuzu Doktorlari Association (YDD), said the group conducted 164,000 examinations, 5,441 surgeries and 1,800 nutrition therapies for needy people in 2018.

Talking about YDD's operations in 2018, Guney said: "We carried out crisis and emergency projects, therapeutic healthcare, nutrition health, maternal health, preventive healthcare, medical training, psychosocial support, medication, consumables and hygiene material support, and equipment and system support projects."

Guney also stressed the importance of helping people in countries -- such as Palestine, Syria and Somalia -- where war, conflicts and natural disasters made it difficult for people to receive health care.

"Cataract is triggered by bad living conditions, malnutrition, geographical and climatic conditions in addition to head and eye traumas," said Dr. Hasan Oktay Ozkan, vice chairman of YDD.

He said the aid group is launching a donation campaign for cataract operation.

One cataract operation costs 500 Turkish lira ($96) and people can donate money via text messages, according to the website of YDD.

Around 285 million people are estimated to be visually impaired worldwide and 100 million of them suffer from cataract, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

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