Blindness in Gao (Mali 2008)

Mali is the fourth poorest country in the world.
In this region, both taking into account genetic factors and not, there are 2 million blind among a population of 20 million. The strong natural light and the proximity of the population to the waters of the Niger river only partly explain this phenomenon.
In light of this situation of dire need and sickness, a humanitarian initiative has been undertaken bythe Air Force, aided by a team of surgeon-ophthalmologists from Fete Bene Fratelli, and by the AFM AL.
The seventh repeat of this mission saw 700 successful operations.
As often happens in Mali; the blind are accompanied by their child-guide, chosen within their family or simply bought.
Giving the blind autonomy and independence also implies giving the same privileges to these children who must accompany these blind folk for the duration of their lives.
This mission has been named “Returning Light.”

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