Published: 12:00, 09 October 2014 |
Updated: 07:57, 10 October 2014
A Faversham couple have filmed the moment a man from Malawi had his bandages removed after a sight-saving operation.
They recorded the footage, live from the African bush, of 69-year-old Winesi March seeing his family for the first time in 12 years.
After the operation yesterday afternoon, conducted by international charity Sightsavers, the wait is finally over for the miraculous moment.
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A spokesman from the hospital said that he was in a bit of pain but the doctors were happy with how the operation went.
Dave Carter and Liz Scarff of Park Road in Faversham have been working in Malawi for the last six months.
Inspired by the work of Sightsavers, who work in more than 30 countries to support people with visual impairments, the couple crammed their filming equipment into a single suitcase and travelled to the southeast African country.
Winesi, a farmer who says his loss of sight makes him feel "helpless," has had trouble with his vision for 12 years and has been fully blind for the past two years with bilateral cataracts.
He said: "I'm always scared because I feel like I am dead. There is nothing I can do for my family.
"When I was able to see, I could find work and make money. I have a family to look after and provide for."
Describing the moment she met Winesi, Liz said: "He could not survive without his wife looking after him.
"You cannot reach his house by the road – you can only get there on foot after you have waded through the river and then climbed a hill.
"The first time we went to his house we saw in the distance a man feeling his way around the edge of his house. He clearly could not see me – it was an arresting image."
Malawi, a third-world country, has an estimated 370,000 people with low vision and 103,600 are completely blind.
With a population of around 14.8 million, Malawi has just one cataract surgeon per million people.
The need for eye surgeons and cataract operations is vast, and the troubles start with getting the patients to a hospital.
Video: Watch as Winesi March sees his family for the first time in 12 years
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