Restoring Vision for Developing Nations

A $50 surgery can improve the life of a family, the quality of life in a village and the future of an entire nation. Sound far-fetched? Not at all in places like Tibet, where 11 percent of adults over 50 and 20 percent of those over 70 are blind due to cataracts.

Enter Seva Foundation: a nonprofit organization that works to alleviate suffering caused by disease and poverty.

Gary Hahn, who graduated from the Case Institute of Technology in 1973, is chair of the foundation's board of directors. He got involved with Seva Foundation in the early 1980s and has traveled to Tibet, India, Nepal and Tanzania to see the impact the foundation has had in restoring vision for people in developing nations.

Programs supported by Seva and its partners have helped nearly 3 million blind people see again through affordable cataract surgeries.

"My focus has always been on finding a long-term solution to a problem rather than fixing a short-term need," Hahn says, remembering how one Tibetan eye doctor performed 60 cataract surgeries in one day-one every 15 minutes for 15 hours.