In this special 20th episode, Dr. Suh talks with Dr. Jim Caudill, an ophthalmologist from Charleston, West Virginia, about their work with Medical Ministry International (MMI), a Christian medical mission group whose volunteers participate in one- and two-week projects to developing nations.
Several of the leading causes of visual impairment in the world are preventable or treatable. People with uncorrected refractive errors, which means they are nearsighted, farsighted, and/or have astigmatism, can see better with a pair of prescription glasses. But in many developing countries, prescription glasses are not easy to obtain. Cataract, a clouding of the natural lens, is responsible for about half of the world blindness, which represents about 20 million people. Lack of access to or lack of financial means for surgery as well as longer life expectancy are some of the factors that have led to this increasing number of untreated cataracts.
In the developing world, being blind decreases one’s life expectancy by one-third. 50% report loss of social standing and decision-making authority. Children may be unable to attend school because they must care for their blind relatives. The annual worldwide productivity cost of blindness is estimated to be in the hundreds of billions of dollars.
Many charitable medical organizations have been around for decades to do short-term trips in these developing countries to lessen the burden of their much-needed medical care. MMI has been around for over 50 years. They provide dental, medical, surgical, OB/GYN, eye care, and physical therapy services around the world with short-term missions and in their permanent centers.
For more information about Medical Ministry International, click here.
To find out more about Dr. Jim Caudill, go to his practice's website.
This is intended for informational and educational purposes only, and nothing in this podcast/blog is to be considered as recommending or rendering medical advice or treatment to a specific patient. Please consult your eye care specialist for proper diagnosis and treatment of any eye conditions that you may have.