THE BLOG

The Miraculous Power of Technology

09/10/2014 11:41 BST | Updated 08/12/2014 10:59 GMT

Nervous, tense, excited - there are so many words I could use to describe the emotional rollercoaster I have been on watching the first ever live broadcast of a cataract surgery from Malawi on my phone. In the centre of London, between meetings, I was in a hospital in Malawi with the expert surgical team.

Dr Msukwa, who is one of only a few ophthalmologists in Malawi, must have felt the eyes of the world on him. But my praise goes out to him.

My excitement must be nothing compared to how Winesi must be feeling now. The short surgery went well. Tomorrow he should see again after two years of blindness.

Technology is amazing. Today the world watched surgery broadcast live from an operating theatre in Malawi on their mobile phones, laptops, or tablets. The fact that it was possible for me to do this from a coffee shop in London made it all the more poignant that millions of people in the world aren't able to access a straightforward life-changing operation.

By taking part in this launch event for Sightsavers' A Million Miracles Appeal Dr Msukwa is helping to highlight the huge need for investment in training more surgeons, and investment in hospitals and equipment. There is also a need to continue working closely with Ministries of Health to support the development of eye care services in countries like Malawi.

In less than 24 hours we will get to share in the moment when Winesi's bandages come off and he should be able to see his grandson, Luka, for the first time. What a privilege it will be for all of us to witness that. I am hoping with all my heart that the operation will be a success.

For me, being able to utilise digital technologies to share the first miracle of our appeal, and bring the impact of what we can do to help directly to the public, has huge potential. This is our opportunity to show our generous supporters everywhere exactly what can be done in just two days. And I hope to stimulate others who are not yet supporters to give too, so we can do more.

Tomorrow I will watch the climax of Winesi's bandage removal at our offices with our UK based staff all crowded around the screen, and our other staff around the world all watching too. On Thursday October 9th at 1.30pm (BST) I shall be holding my breath that Winesi can see again. As will we all.

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