Sightsavers’ CATCH programme (which stands for Coordinated Approach to Community Health) ensures that patients who visit trachoma screening camps with another eye condition, such as cataracts, are given the treatment they need. The programme is funded through DFID matching the donations made by our supporters. In Uganda and Kenya, Sightsavers staff met several patients who had benefited from the programme and received life-changing treatment: scroll through the gallery to read their stories.
One patient in particular stood out: 75-year-old Nasser Bashir (pictured above), who was referred to Jinja Hospital in eastern Uganda for cataract surgery after visiting an eye screening camp. At first, he was unable to be operated on because his blood sugar was too high. He was put on a treatment programme and monitored, and six months later he was able to return for surgery.
Yet Bashir’s operation was far from straightforward. He also has a physical impairment: his neck bones are fused together, meaning he can’t move his head. To ensure his operation could be carried out safely, theatre staff arranged boxes for the surgeon to stand on, and made sure Bashir was elevated so the microscope could be positioned correctly. The operation was a success: Bashir was full of joy as he showed staff that he could see the time on his watch. “I cannot say how grateful I am!” he exclaimed. More from Kenya, and more from Uganda
In Bhopal, Sightsavers and partners screened 2,200 street sweepers, rubbish collectors and sanitation workers to check for undiagnosed eye conditions. As a result of the screening, more than 770 pairs of spectacles were given out, and 51 patients were diagnosed with cataracts and referred for further treatment.
The eye screening camps were a collaboration with Swachh Bharat Mission, a flagship programme in India that aims to create a cleaner country. More from India