Famous eye doctor, Helena Ndume to receive Lions Humanitarian Award
The Chief of Ophthalmology at Windhoek Central Hospital, Dr Helena Ndume will be presented with the 2022 Lions Humanitarian Award during the 104th Lions Clubs International Convention on 28 June, for her dedication to humanitarian service and medical contributions to the world.
Dr Ndume has dedicated her life and career to treating blindness and low vision, both in Namibia and throughout the developing world and she has performed more than 35,000 eye surgeries free of charge locally and around the world.
“For so many people, living with preventable blindness makes all the difference in whether or not they survive or starve,” she said, adding that she is honoured to receive the award.
“My biggest goal in life is to end preventable blindness and to build a team of committed young people that will continue to fight against it, so even when I am not here, they will carry on the mission,” she said.
Lions Clubs International President Douglas X. Alexander said they are truly honoured to present this award to Dr Ndume, whose work is changing lives and making a profound impact on the world.
“Ever since Helen Keller challenged Lions to help preserve the precious gift of sight in 1925, Lions’ work continues in preventing available blindness and improving the quality of life for people who are blind or visually impaired,” he added.
In 1995 Dr Ndume met with the founder of Surgical Eye Expeditions (SEE) International and they worked to reverse preventable blindness in Namibia. She continues to partners with SEE International, whose network of volunteers consists of more than 650 ophthalmologists and medical professionals from 80 different countries, treating cataracts, glaucoma, and allergic conjunctivitis, thus restoring sight to thousands of individuals who would otherwise face enduring pain and hardship due to their condition.
The Lions Humanitarian Award, their highest honour, is given to an individual or an organization with exemplary humanitarian efforts and comes with a Lions Clubs International Foundation grant for up to US$250,000 to a charitable organization for continuing humanitarian activities. Dr Ndume joins a distinguished list of prior recipients, including Mother Teresa, former US President Jimmy Carter and Nobel Peace Prize winner Dr Denis Mukwege.