Eliminating needless blindness in Nepal, Ethiopia, and Ghana

The Problem

Blindness afflicts more than 39 million people worldwide, 90 percent of whom live in developing countries. Yet 80 percent of global blindness is treatable or preventable.

Blindness magnifies poverty and poverty, in turn, perpetuates blindness. Inadequate eye care shortens lives, creates dependency on families and governments, reduces economic viability, and denies children education.

The Solution

The Himalayan Cataract Project (HCP) will develop and deliver sustainable eye care in Nepal, Ethiopia, and Ghana, creating an adaptable “train the trainer” model that can be replicated and scaled around the world.

HCP will invest in people and infrastructure, empowering local communities and enhancing local eye health care systems through training and new technology. The model takes into account geopolitical and cultural considerations in order to be most effective in each geographic setting.

By training community health providers, the HCP will deliver cataract surgery and permanent refractive correction—commonly known as laser surgery— at low cost to more than 500,000 people. Sight-restoring cataract surgeries can be performed for as little as $25. 

Studies have shown a 400 percent return on every dollar invested in eliminating blindness. The project is expected to bring significant gains to the families, communities, and countries involved and to provide a model for curing blindness in the developing world. 

MacArthur Managing Director Cecilia Conrad discusses this bold solution.


More Information

View the Himalayan Cataract Project project website ›

Team Partners

Clinical and training:

  • Aravind Eye Care System, India
  • Department of Ophthalmology & Global Medicine, Stanford University
  • International Council of Ophthalmology, Magrabi – ICO Cameroon Eye Institute
  • John A. Moran Eye Center, University of Utah
  • Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital, Ghana
  • L V Prasad Eye Institute, India
  • Menelik Hospital, Addis Ababa University Dept. Ophthalmology, Ethiopia
  • Sight for Souls/ MCM Hospital, Ethiopia
  • Tilganga Institute of Ophthalmology, Nepal


  • Clarity Design
  • Global Vision 2020
  • Merge, an IBM Company

Team Lead
Geoffrey Tabin, MD
Co-Founder & Chairman, Himalayan Cataract Project

Twitter: @cureblindness
Facebook: @cureblindness
Youtube: Cure Blindness

Project Contact
Job Heintz, JD, MSL 
Chief Executive Officer 

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