Up Close at an Eye Clinic in Ghana

A Dutch photojournalist takes photos a remote eye clinic in Ghana to see how the world is tackling preventable blindness.

Dutch photojournalist Marielle van Uitert has just returned from a trip to Ghana where she photographed patients with cataracts who are undergoing eye surgery at remote camps.

Van Uitert traveled to this dangerous region with the the Eye Care Foundation, an organization that travels to remote sites and sets up eye camps where they perform simple surgeries that restore villager's sight. Van Uitert's photos are shot at the Garu Eye Clinic in Bawku, in the Ghana hinterlands, 1,000 miles from Accra. Her photographic essay introduces you to the many lives that will be changed that day, as a result of this life-changing surgery at the clinic. Some of the patients have more than 100 miles to undergo these surgeries.

The World Health Organization fact sheet on blindness notes that 87 percent of the 314 million visually impaired worldwide live in developing countries and 32 million people are unnecessarily blind from cataracts. Cataracts are caused by an infectious disease and ultimately cloud the lens of the eye so no light gets in. While cataracts and eventual blindness lead to huge economic and social problems, 85 percent is avoidable through a simple operation that restores vision at a very low cost.