Cataract Foundation Philippines
In 1979, a volunteer ophthalmologist from Negros Occidental, in the person of Dr. Fortunato Eusebio, went to Gujarat, India with Rotary International (RI) to work in surgical eye camps. He was so inspired that he shared the idea with his friends in the Rotary Club of Bacolod North (RCBN), RI District 3850 of doing volume cataract surgery not eye camp style but in a hospital. He convinced them to start a project called “Sight Savers” with the aim of doing 50-60 cataract surgeries in one year. Each year the club raised funds specifically for this project. The patients were accommodated in school classrooms, which were converted to dormitories during the vacations and ferried to the hospital for surgery. This involved the services of many club members, volunteers, and wives of the Rotarians, to see that the meals and transportation of the patients and their ‘watchers’ were well served and well-coordinated. There was great camaraderie and celebration but it was not cost-effective and the project was only reaching out to a maximum of 60 patients per year because of fund constraints of the Rotary Club.