Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland Coláiste Ríoga na Máinleá in Éirinn

Right To Sight- A New International Sight Saving Organization - Launched At RCSI

14 March 2006

The former president of Ireland Mrs. Mary Robinson and actor Ralph Fiennes visited the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI) today to launch Right to Sight, a new international sight saving organization.

Pictured at the launch of Right to Sight, a new international sight saving organization are L to R, supporters of the organization: former president of Ireland, Mrs. Mary Robinson; actor Ralph Fiennes; the organization’s founder, consultant eye surgeon Dr. Kate Coleman; and Mr. Fintan Foy, Associate Director for Academic Affairs at RCSI.

Based at the RCSI, Right to Sight aims to eliminate the cataract crisis in Asia and Africa. It will do this through training surgeons in these regions to perform life-enhancing operations within their own community. In addition, Right to Sight will dispatch emergency surgical teams, in particular to Africa, to operate in outreach villages assisted by non-medical Right to Sight volunteers. Using this innovative ‘modus operandi’, it is hoped that a Right to Sight surgeon in an emergency team production line will be able to operate on up to 30,000 patients each year, up from a current average rate of 5,000 per annum. In global terms, this would increase the current average of 200 operations per million of population to 5,000 per million.

According to the organization’s founder Dr. Kate Coleman: “A cataract operation takes just 15 minutes to perform and the patient can see immediately after the operation, so the affect is like that of a miracle. This is a huge problem in Africa and Asia and using a strategic approach we hope to help take control of this crisis”.