Over 600 ophthalmologists from 75 countries belong to SEE International’s global network of volunteers, who donate their time and professional services to restoring sight worldwide. Up to 130 expeditions are coordinated each year by SEE International.
At the invitation of a local health authority in each country, SEE International recruits, organizes and provides medical supplies and logistical support for the team. The surgical team operates in a busy clinical setting for up to 5 days. Depending on the size of the team and conditions at the clinic, the doctors may return sight to 50 and 150 patients in need during the course of the campaign. In addition to the life transforming operations, participating surgeons often provide lectures and exchange valuable skills during the clinic.
In 2009, SEE International volunteer eye surgeons completed over 14,000 sight-restoring eye surgeries in 44 countries.
Sight Restoring Expeditions
For thirty-five years, SEE International has brought medical volunteers, medical supply donors, individuals, corporations, and foundations together for a single purpose: to restore sight worldwide to people blinded by cataracts and other treatable eye conditions.
The need for trained and experienced eye surgeons in developing countries is enormous. Yet becoming a traveling SEE ophthalmologist requires more than surgical training. Our affiliates are philanthropic leaders who have a drive to create change and accomplish great things through their own efforts. SEE International supports their leadership through expedition planning, provisioning medical supplies, and maintaining the network of host and traveling ophthalmologists.
At the invitation of local host ophthalmologists and health authorities in developing countries, SEE International works with ophthalmic surgeons who become “affiliates” of our organization to provide administrative support, donated supplies and possibly loaned equipment for these expeditions.
The patients are underserved people in the community who would not otherwise have access to eye care. Individuals are pre-screened (medically and socio-economically) by the in-country host ophthalmologists. The highest priority of surgical cases is given to bilaterally blind patients who have a surgically correctable condition, e.g., bilateral cataracts. Following the visiting team’s departure, postoperative follow-up care is provided by the host ophthalmologist.
Immediate Action Partnered with Sustainability
SEE International teams take immediate action to restore sight to some of the millions of people blinded by cataracts and other treatable eye conditions. Visiting teams provide donated supplies and the extra manpower needed to assist host ophthalmologists in developing countries relieve the burden of blindness in their area.
Expeditions also involve educational exchange where ophthalmologists can share the latest technologies with one another, leaving a legacy long after the expedition is over.
Teams also place equipment on permanent loan which is donated to SEE by corporations, foundations and individuals. Clinic sites which SEE visits on a regular basis are the main recipients of equipment which can be used by in-country affiliate ophthalmologists on free patients when SEE teams have gone, as well as by future visiting teams.
SEE welcomes donations of ophthalmic equipment. Contact our Development Department to learn more about donations of equipment.