What we’ve achieved: global highlights from November

November 2017
Mohammad Islam Ansari, a young truck driver in New Delhi.


Eye testing for truck drivers

There are nine million truck drivers in India that transport 65 per cent of the nation’s cargo by road. Sightsavers and partners carried out a survey to find out the problems they face accessing eye healthcare, and a common concern was that they found it hard to find eye care services that were free, fast and available near them.

In response, and to ensure the safety of the drivers and other road users, Sightsavers has tested the sight of more than 20,000 truck and bus drivers and other transportation staff. Those who were found to have uncorrected refractive errors were offered free spectacles, which were delivered to the drivers’ offices. Read more on this story, or see more from India

Mr Sadeka Amadou smiling at the camera with a beige hat on.


Protecting medication from the rain

During Cameroon’s rainy season, work can be challenging for the local community directed distributors (CDDs), who often find medication is damaged by water as they travel from house to house. Sister Doreen Ngoran, a nurse from Bamdenda in north-west Cameroon, has devised an innovative solution. “Our facility made bags for each CDD,” she explains. “They use these to carry their registers and medications as they move door to door.”

A new approach to river blindness treatment

Research is being carried out in Makouopsop village in Cameroon, where more than 40 per cent of villagers have river blindness, to try to find more effective ways to treat the disease. Despite annual distribution of Mectizan® medication, many villagers are contracting river blindness from black flies that breed in the nearby Nja river.

One villager that has benefited is 65-year-old fisherman Sadeka Amadou (pictured). Recurrent river blindness over 15 years had badly affected his sight, leaving him unable to work. But after being given Mectizan® every three months, instead of once a year, Sadeka’s sight has improved. “I am happy I can see things much clearer now,” he says. “I can now return to my fishing.” More from Cameroon


Cataract camp featured on national TV

A cataract camp organised in the northern city of Nacala Porto on 5-11 November was featured on Mozambique’s main TV station. Amade Ayuba (pictured above right) had a bilateral cataract operation at the camp and was interviewed on Mozambique Television (TVM).  He spoke about how his life has changed since receiving the surgery, and said he hoped to encourage others in his community to take up free treatment for eye conditions. More from Mozambique

A group of people around a table inside.


Promoting social inclusion

Community volunteers and district river blindness coordinators were recently given social inclusion training, to encourage them to to promote inclusivity and help community directed distributors to reach out to minority groups and people with disabilities.

The aim was to promote gender equity and ensure services are provided to all, irrespective of ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, disability or socio-economic status. More from Uganda

Many women and children wearing brightly coloured clothing sit outside in the shade under tree.


Protecting communities against trachoma

The conflict in Darfur, which began in 2003, has resulted in instability and the loss of hundreds of thousands of lives. Trachoma is still widespread, and Sightsavers continues to carry out mass drug administration in 11 counties in Darfur.

A recent MDA in South Darfur reached local people including Khadiga, who said it was the first eye healthcare she had received in the region. Another recipient said: “This is a great opportunity for us to take Zithromax® and protect ourselves from the conditions that our uncles and families suffered from.” More from Sudan

Two male community drug distributors are outisde with two villagers, one is a young boy drinking from a pink cup, the other is a young lady.


River blindness work in action

Sightsavers recently supported mass drug administration (MDA) in two regions in Togo to treat and prevent river blindness. Country Director Dr Boubacar Dicko, driver Alpha Bah and admin assistant Yawovi Katche travelled to the country’s largest region, Plateaux, to see the work in action.

They met volunteers Louenou Yawovi and Doh Kokouvi (pictured), who distribute medication in their community, and saw the calendars they use to record record local residents’ availability so they can plan household visits. More from Togo

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