#ChangeMakers Dr. Helena Ndume: The Inspiring Namibian Providing Sight For The Poor And Shaping The Future Of Africa

by Duchess Magazine
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Dr. Helena Ndume: The Inspiring Namibian Providing Sight For The Poor And Shaping The Future Of Africa

Women in Africa are rising up and taking their rightfully place as builders and change agents, bettering the world and we can’t help but lift our faces in pride. Today we set our lens on one of such inspirational queens, Nambinan ophthalmologist, Dr. Helena Ndume dubbed Namibia’s “Miracle Doctor.”

For over two decades, driven by the need to make the world a better place through her field, internationally recognised Dr. Ndume since working as a volunteer ophthalmologist for SEE International in 1995, has applaudably performed 30,000 and counting sight-restoring surgeries free of charge on men, women and children across the world, but more specifically in her home country Namibia, transforming lives.

She is currently the head of the Ophthalmology department at Windhoek Central Hospital, Namibia’s largest hospital, and is one of only six Namibian ophthalmologists

“There’s no money in this world that can pay the joy of someone who was so blind for so many years and then suddenly they regain their vision.” she says.

Although Dr. Ndume sets out passionately and tirelessly to change lives without view of monetary rewards, the renowned opthalmologist has earned well derserved recognition for her charitable work such as being a U.N. Nelson Mandela Prize Recipient (2015), awarded the Grand Commander of the Order of Namibia, First Class in 2004, Red Cross International Humanitarian Service Award (2009),
Rotary International Humanitarian Award in the fight against blindness (2008), Humanitarian award in the prevention of blindness in Santa Barbara, California, USA (2001), was listed as one of BBC’s 100 women during 2018 among other prestigious honours.

Revered as an incredible physician globally, Dr Ndume traces her Inspiration to her childhood in South Africa, having grown up during the apartheid, witnessing inhumane living conditions around her, she swore to dedicate her life to helping others. Forced to flee Namibia at just age 15, a young Helena Ndume went on to live in Zambia, Gambia, and Angola, before graduating from the University of Leipzig Medical School in Germany. In 1995, touched by the need of humanitarian eyecare, she professionally embarked on an incredible journey teaming up with nonprofit SEE International as one of its volunteer eye surgeons on a mission to freely restore eyesights, therefore changing lives forever.

As part of efforts to touch even more lives, Dr. Ndume sets up eye camps throughout Namibia every year, providing free eye surgeries. She launched the first edition in 1997.


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