About Echo Foundation
20 million people worldwide are blind from cataract, a condition that can be surgically corrected in about 15 minutes with $100 worth of resources. 160,000 of these cataract blind people live in Honduras, one of the poorest countries in the western hemisphere. Honduras has the lowest cataract surgery rate in Latin America, and less then 90 surgically active ophthalmologists.
ECHO Foundation and it’s founders have been leading cataract surgery brigades to Honduras for more than 20 years. In 2011, ECHO began exploring ways to help grow the sector of ophthalmology in Honduras. ECHO’s Unidos Visión sustainability initiative began in 2013 at our partner hospital, the San Pedro Sula Lions’ Eye Hospital Fraternidad, and has resulted in more than a tenfold increase in our annual impacts in Honduras in just the past few years.
ECHO’s mission is to support sustainable practices that increase surgical volumes, contribute to educational and technological improvements, and grow the sector of ophthalmology in Honduras. Our strategy is simple: 1. Organize and execute volunteer cataract surgery brigades to augment the efforts of local doctors, 2. Make strategic investments in the sector of ophthalmology in Honduras that benefit all Hondurans, 3. Support all Wake Forest Eye Center Global Ophthalmology activities in Honduras, and 4. Closely monitor the impacts this work has on surgical volumes and quality of care.
To date, ECHO’s and our partners’ efforts have resulted in more than 6,000 sight restoring surgeries for the people of Honduras. As of 2016, our sustainability work has supported a 10% increase in national cataract surgery volumes. Our work is endorsed by the Honduran National Society of Ophthalmologists.