Jul 10th 2017 by unostriker • 6 Questions • 3658 Points
Hello reddit! We're the Himalayan Cataract Project, one of eight organizations competing in the MacArthur Foundation's 100&Change competition for a $100 million grant, and we're here to answer your questions.*
Learn more about the MacArthur Foundation’s competition here:
About our proposal: we are trying to develop and deliver sustainable eye care in Nepal, Ethiopia, and Ghana, creating an adaptable “train the trainer” model that can be replicated and scaled around the world. This is a major issue because 90% of the 39 million blind people in the world live in the developing world, and 80% of global blindness is treatable.
By training community health providers, we will deliver cataract surgery and permanent refractive correction—commonly known as laser surgery— at low cost to more than 500,000 people. Sight-restoring cataract surgeries can be performed for as little as $25.
Studies have shown a 400 percent return on every dollar invested in eliminating blindness. Our project is expected to bring significant gains to the families, communities, and countries involved and to provide a model for curing blindness in the developing world.
We will be on at 1 PM ET to answer your questions. AUA! Our proposal, our team, and more on how we aim to achieve this objective: https://www.macfound.org/press/semifinalist-profile/himalayan-cataract-project/
*Important caveat: This AMA is a public engagement opportunity for you, reddit, to learn more about our proposal. We won’t win the $100 million competition based on this AMA, and there's nobody paying us to do this AMA. We're just taking questions and are thrilled to engage and discuss this very important issue.
EDIT: We're live now, and here to answer your questions about our proposal!
FINAL EDIT: That's it for our AMA, so we'll sign off now. Thanks very much for all of your great questions!
What's the strangest thing that's occurred at your theater?
What is the leading cause of blindness in this region? Is there a dominant hereditary factor involved, or perhaps prolonged unprotected exposure to snow reflection is causing more permanent damage? Or other?
(HCP Co-Founder, Geoff Tabin) Cataracts are the leading cause of blindness in the developing world. Yes, there is a genetic association, although it is not well delineated; and UV light, combined with a lack of antioxidants in the diet contribute to early development of cataracts, as does smoke inhalation.
Fortunately, the loss of vision from cataracts can be completely reversed with surgery.
Can you get free tickets to any movie that you want or if there a limit per week or month?
Aren't most people with cataracts quite elderly? The work you do is fantastic, but in comparing your efforts to some of the other 100& Change proposals you seem to be focused on an older group and hence perhaps have less of an impact on the world as a whole than projects addressing needs of younger people with more life ahead of them or of all people of all ages?
It's 2 tickets a day, they don't stack though. So basically just me and a friend.
(HCP Co-Founder, Geoff Tabin) Thank you Yellow_Cherry, yes the majority of people blind from cataracts are elderly. However, in the developing world, many people go blind at an early age, including children. HCP develops overall eye care systems that provides eyecare for all ages. When we restore sight to the elderly, this allows children who have been caretakers to return to school. In addition, these elderly who have had their sight restored can now become caretakers of small children.
Do you uh, give freebies to friends? If so, wanna be friends?
How does curing blindness in an individual ripple out to the community?
I can give you the snack discount but tickets have to go through a manager. Sorry buddy
(HCP Co-Founder, Geoff Tabin) In the developing world, there are very few services for the blind. Hence it takes people out of the workforce or a child out of school to care for that individual. Once cured, adults who were once blind from cataracts can return to the workforce. Children are able to return to school and receive an education. Elders whose sight is restored can return to care of children or homestead responsibilities. It is estimated that there’s a direct return to the economy by 400% for every dollar invested in blindness elimination. These are the direct impacts to the economy, however, the emotional impacts are greatly magnified beyond.
You ever catch anyone recording a movie? what did you do?
I bring my own food to the theatre, fuck you, I'll do what I want.
Hey, thanks for doing this AMA. Q's:
1) What got you guys to apply for this MacArthur grant? What was the call like when you found out you were in the running, did you feel like geniuses?
2) What do you think your chances are of actually winning? And how is yours that different from another one that also aims to cure blindness in Nigeria?
3) How do you know this solution will actually work? What if it doesn't?
I've never seen anyone recording a movie. One time a guy took a call on his phone while I was doing a theater check, which was admittedly ballsy. I just told him to put it away cause I don't get paid enough to actually confront people.
And yeah I don't care if you bring your own food, just clean up after yourself, one lady brought chinese food and left it on her seat like a douchebag.
(HCP Co-Founder, Geoff Tabin) The MacArthur 100&Change competition is an amazing opportunity for eye care and we don’t feel like geniuses, but we are very honored to be a part of the competition. The chances of winning are one in eight and our solution focuses on addressing overall eye care systems and all causes of blindness. Even if we do not fully eliminate needless blindness from the planet, every person who had their sight restored can return to a fully sighted life.
HCP’s model is different from the Carter Center’s superb effort to eliminate River Blindness in Nigeria, in that HCP is working to develop overall systems of eye care, rather than focusing on one disease. We are able to restore sight to people who are blind from cataracts as well as preventing blinding diseases. In addition, we also work to provide services for people who are irrevocably blind.
Well.... I wouldn't bring chinese food, that's just a dick move. Leaving the chinese food containers is as you said- douchebag move.
Yeah you're cool, just bring your trash when you leave.
I haven't yet, I know people who have however.
Aaaay, I used to work at a theatre. It was the best and worst job at the same time. I however, worked for a privately owned theatre (owner only had two theatres, both in small towns). What is your customer horror story? I think one of the worse I personally encountered was walking into the women's room for a restroom check and finding the sink/counter covered in blood. Ends up some kid got a bloody nose, and his mom didn't bother to clean anything up or tell any of the ushers because it's not like blood is a biohazard /s That or the bag full of shit one of the newbies found in the back parking lot while taking out the garbage.
Someone threw up in the sink and clogged it the other day, the aforementioned shit on the sidewalk. People are gross.
Are the movies shipped to guys? Do you guys watch them before hand?
I'm not sure what you mean by the first question but I can answer your second question. I can't watch any movies early, I can get 2 free tickets for any movie day of, which means I have to see all my movies in the morning to get a good seat (we have assigned seats).
Can I bring my horn and play along with the movie music?
Hey, I also work at a movie theater! I have for two years!
How much do you hate it? I fucking hate it. I hate the customers. I hate how stupid they are. I don't think I'm a smart person but god fucking damn it, it's really getting to me how dumb the average person is. I don't want to believe I live in a world this dumb.
I mean it's my first job, the customers can be a little annoying sometimes but the people I work with can be pretty cool so it works out. Overall it's not that bad.
Have you ever spliced a single frame of pornography into a family film?
I don't have keys to the upstairs projector room and we use digital so unfortunately no.
Do t you hate when people just leave their trash in the movie theater after the movie? I mean, just take it with you, you ANIMAL
You're one of the good ones
Would you care if I had a flask of whiskey and bottle of coke on me?
(Cargo pants or shorts FTW).
Just don't throw up or get super drunk and distracting. Than I don't care.
How much do you hate Marvel movies? Every time I see one (lets be honest, its every single one of them) I kinda feel bad when the ushers start creeping in but I KNOW there are going to be 2-5 end credit scenes.
It's bot too bad because most of the time the Usher schedule accounts for that and tells me the time of the end of the credits rather than the end of the movie. Wonder Woman was the worst because if I did get there early and people were still waiting through the credits, I knew that there weren't any post credit scenes and I just wanted to turn the lights on and start sweeping but I had to wait, every, single, time.