Access to health for people living in poverty is more limited and is further aggravated by geographical distances. Rural areas are more destitute, so in Bolivia, it is vital to get eye care messages to more people so that they can access hospitals and receive care. Health promotion and awareness campaigns allow the isolated population in more remote areas to finally decide to attend consultations, as in these two cases, that could be operated on at the San Juan de Dios Hospital in Tarija.

Lidia Correa with her daughter“I am a new person”

Lidia Correa lives in the rural area of ​​Chuquisaca. At 60, in 2020, she began to lose her sight, which worsened with the pandemic. She needed professional help since she was dependent on her youngest daughter to be able to get around, but she could not afford the prices of the consultations.

Her other daughter, Martha, worked in Tarija and discovered from the eye health promoters that her mother could benefit from the help of Eyes of the world to undergo surgery. That was how she got her a visit, and on March 12, she went into the operating room for cataract surgery.

The next day, Lidia gave thanks for restoring her sight: “I feel like a new person; I never thought I could see again!”.

A woman and a man, Martin Gonzales, wearing hats and masks, talking“Don’t give up”

Martín Gonzales is 68 years old and lives in the municipality of Méndez. His humble income depended on growing corn, potatoes, and vegetables, but for a year, his subsistence activities were cut short as he lost virtually all sight in both eyes.

He spent hours alone on the patio of his house listening to the radio. Until, in a programme, he heard a case similar to his, a man who had lost his sight and could undergo free surgery thanks to Eyes of the world. He asked his son to accompany him to the San Juan de Dios Hospital consultation, and on April 8, he underwent cataract surgery that was a complete success: “You must not give up, especially if it is about your health. The perseverance in recovering my vision made me inform myself and overcome my fear. Surgery has changed my life.”

The eye care awareness campaigns in Tarija of the Eyes of Bolivia programme had the support of the Repsol Foundation.