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Sightsavers from the field

December highlights: updates from around the world

December 2017

Kenya

Sightsavers project manager helps with surgery

Maurice Abony has worked for Sightsavers for the past five years as project manager at the office in Nairobi. Yet he is also a trained cataract surgeon with a decade of experience. So when Sightsavers’ CATCH project in Kenya finds itself short of surgeons, Maurice steps in to carry out operations.

“I have conducted about 10,000 cataract surgeries in Kenya and Somalia,” explains Maurice. “At the moment I conduct  surgeries in Samburu County during the eye camps. Each year we have about eight to ten camps, which last five days.”

New surgeons are currently being trained: one graduated in December, with another due to finish his training in 2019. Maurice will help to mentor them once they are qualified. “The learning curve for cataract surgeons is usually longer,” he says. “It may take another year before the newly qualified surgeon is confident enough to conduct a camp by himself.” More from Kenya

India

Book highlights Sightsavers’ work in the Sundarbans

A coffee-table book has been published to focus on Sightsavers’ eye health work in the Sundarbans region on the Bay of Bengal. The Sundarbans, formed where three rivers meet, is a Unesco World Heritage Site famed for its beauty and biodiversity. Yet floods and cyclones are common, and the shifting aquatic landscape means transport, communication and even electricity coverage are problematic.

As a result, livelihoods remain uncertain, and eye problems are often undiagnosed and untreated. Sightsavers has been working in the Sundarbans for seven years, and the latest project aims to help eliminate avoidable blindness in the region by supporting vision centres and training eye health workers.

The book tells the stories of people that Sightsavers has helped, including husband and wife Anwal and Kalpana, who have been living in poverty since Anwal was mauled by a tiger 27 years ago, leaving him unable to work. As the couple’s eyesight started to deteriorate with age, they were unable to pay to have their eyes checked. After visiting a Sightsavers-supported clinic, they were referred for cataract surgery and their vision was restored. More from India

Volunteers in Uganda take part in a training course.
Programme manager Anne Auma trains volunteers in Uganda to recognise the symptoms of lymphatic filariasis.

Uganda

Volunteers trained to spot lymphatic filariasis

More than 500 community health volunteers in northern Uganda have taken part in a training programme to help them identify the symptoms of lymphatic filariasis (LF). During the training, carried out by the ministry of health and Sightsavers, the volunteers were shown images of people with LF and also met patients with the condition.

During the next three days, they were asked to return to their communities, in the districts of Lira, Pader, Lamwo and Amuru, to identify cases of LF and record the patients’ details. These cases were then confirmed and verified by doctors, enabling the patients to receive treatment. More from Uganda

Read more about our work around the world

Where we work

More stories from the field

A woman in Tanzania splashes water on her face from a metal bucket.
Sightsavers from the field

How water is vital to fight trachoma

To mark World Water Week 2018, Sightsavers’ NTD Programme Officer Cade Howard shares tips from the field about how water can help to eliminate this painful, blinding disease.

August 2018
Hula wears her new glasses and reads from a sheet of paper.
Sightsavers from the field

August highlights: updates from around the world

The latest from Kenya, where Sightsavers staff have been carrying out eye screenings in a refugee camp in Turkana. Plus news from India and Nigeria.

August 2018
Two women have their eyes examined while walking in the field with their crops.
Sightsavers from the field

The final days of trachoma in Ghana

Sightsavers’ Kate McCoy followed a team of eye care workers as they raced through cities and villages to find any remaining patients: they needed to treat them all to eliminate the disease for good.

August 2018