American Charities for Palestine
December 22, 2011 - 1:00am

Press Release
December 22, 2011 - 4:00pm

ACP is pleased to be able to update you on theOperation Restore Vision in Palestine project which our partner, St. John’s Eye Hospital in Jerusalem (SJEH), is implementing on the ground.

ACP has pledged commitment to fund 1,000 sight-saving cataract surgeries at St. John’s in Jerusalem for the otherwise blind men and women of Palestine; this is a $330,000 intiative. Today Dr. Ziad Asali, ACP Chairman, has delivered a check for $27,000 to Dr. Gray Heppner, Hospitaller of the Priory in the United States for the Order of St. John. This is the first installment of funds which will go to provide approximately 82 cataract surgeries.

Cataracts are a treatable, curable disease in which the lens of the eye degenerates to become so cloudy that vision is made unclear or even lost. Adults with cataracts lose the ability to work, to play and often to even take care of their families and/or themselves. The curative treatment for blindness due to cataract is an operation in which a highly-trained optical surgeon expertly removes the diseased lens and replaces it with an artificial lens. Success rates for the surgical restoration of vision due to cataract are greater than 99%.

The demand for cataract surgery greatly exceeds the capacity of the health care system in Palestine. In 2009, the Saint John Eye Hospital (SJEH) performed a comprehensive study of eye disease within the Palestinian Territory including Gaza; this study showed that the leading cause of correctable blindness in Palestinians over 50 years of age is cataracts. It is believed that 28,000 Palestinian adults living in East Jerusalem, West Bank and Gaza would greatly benefit from cataract surgery. Presently, only 8,000 cataract operations are performed there each year. St John Eye Hospital is the leading provider of charitable eye care to people in these regions.

ACP looks forward to the next opportunity to update you on Operation Restore Vision in Palestine as the ACP team continues to work with St. John’s Hospital to provide 1,000 surgeries for otherwise blinded Palestinians.


American Task Force on Palestine - 1634 Eye St. NW, Suite 725, Washington DC 20006 - Telephone: 202-262-0017