The genesis of this book was my being fortunate enough to accompany Dr Geoff Tabin on a trip to Ghana. Dr Tabin is co-founder of the Himalayan Catataract Project, the goal of which is to eliminate treatable blindness in the world. Dr Tabin not only performs the surgery in many countries but also teaches the technique to local doctors.

The goal of the Ghana visit was to treat cataracts in two locations, one of which was Bonsasso, a village selected by the UN Millenium Villages Project. Headed by Professor Jeffrey Sachs, the Project’s goal is to enable impoverished villages to escape extreme poverty by investing in health, food production, education, access to clean water, and essential infrastructure.

Dr Tabin’s team screened 6000 people in Bonsasso. Those who needed antibiotics or spectacles were provided with them and those with cataracts who required surgery were taken by the Millenium Project bus to a hospital with electricity two hours away. Over the space of three days 157 cataracts were removed. Later, at Tamale, in the north, the team performed 300 more procedures.