Dominique Mustur: "My commitment as a Aufgenärztin in Africa".

Outreach in one of the poorest countries in the world: ophthalmologist Dominique Mustur treats people in Togo who suffer from eye disease.

Daily program: 9 eye surgeries

Men and women sit on two rows of benches in the small hospital in Togo, Africa. "You look into delighted, grim, interested, confused faces," reads the diary of the Swiss foundation "ToGo opening eyes." Each of the patients is here with their relatives, some of them blind. A team of ophthalmologists, anesthesiologists and surgical nurses from Switzerland has a lot planned for this Monday in September. Among them is Zurich ophthalmologist Dominique Mustur, who has a practice in Wollishofen. A total of nine cataract operations, i.e. treatments for cataracts, are scheduled for that day. They are all successful.
Toto flag
Togo market

About the Togo

Togo is a small state in West Africa with about 8 million inhabitants. French is officially spoken, and the Ewe and Kabiyé languages are national languages. The country with an area of 56785 square kilometers is one of the poorest states in the world. Togo borders Ghana, Burkina Faso and Benin.

Market in Vogan (Togo)

The small Togolese town of Vogan is about 60 kilometers from the capital Lomé. This is where Dominique Mustur traveled to operate. (Photo: ToGo opening eyes foundation)

Next assignment in Togo?

Ophthalmologist Dominique Mustur's next mission in Togo is scheduled for fall 2021.


Foundation "ToGo opening eyes". IBAN: CH49 00232 232109 956 42B.

Swiss Foundation "ToGo opening eyes

The "ToGo opening eyes" foundation is dedicated to the fight against cataracts. In this disease, the lens of the eye becomes cloudy. If the disease is advanced, those affected see as if through a frosted glass. If cataracts are not treated, they can cause blindness. Togo is considered one of the poorest countries in the world, there is a lack of ophthalmologists. Accordingly, the underuse is great. This is where the foundation steps in: It wants to help with free eye treatments.
The infrastructure in the African country of Togo is poorly developed - including the roads.
Road in Togo Africa
Eye surgery with microscope

Text: Pascal Wiederkehr (, December 19, 2019, Ophthalmologist Dominique Mustur in her practice in Zurich Wollishofen (Photo: PW)

Patients come from far away

This is the second time Dominique Mustur has operated in Vogan, which is about an hour and a half by car from the capital Lomé. "Vogan is small, with just over 1,000 inhabitants," says the 44-year-old. The road is full of potholes, she says, and the infrastructure is poor. "At least the hospital has a well-equipped operating room, but unfortunately no equipment for eye surgery," Mustur says. This is brought from Switzerland in containers. Each mission lasts two weeks.

Word of the offer has spread: Some people travel up to 600 kilometers to be treated. An operation takes from 15 minutes to an hour. The team only treats people with very advanced cataracts. "In almost all cases, we only operate on one eye in sufferers - so that we can help as many as possible," explains the eye surgeon, who has traveled to Africa many times. In Cape Town, she worked for eight months at the eye clinic of the local university. Togolese hospital staff, trained by the foundation, provide the follow-up treatments.
"You can't change the world, but you can help people," Mustur says self-critically. She is happy about every successful operation. The missions in Togo put the everyday problems of the population in Switzerland and throughout Western Europe into perspective every time.

Profile picture Dominique Mustur ophthalmologist
Patient after eye surgery