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Sightsavers from the field

January highlights: updates from around the world

January 2018

Uganda and Kenya

Success stories from the CATCH programme

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

Eye screening in Bhopal.
Workers queue to have their eyes screened at the camp in Bhopal.

India

Eye screening for sanitation workers

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

The committee.
Members of the National Onchocerciasis Experts Committee.

Burkina Faso

Experts meet to discuss river blindness

The third meeting of the National Onchocerciasis Experts Committee took place on 23-24 January in the capital, Ouagadougou, to discuss the country’s ongoing fight against river blindness (also known as onchocerciasis). Guests included researchers, university lecturers, NGOs, programme coordinators and regional teams from the Cascades and south-west regions, where river blindness is endemic.

Recommendations from the meeting included encouraging programmes and committees to share their experiences and knowledge of river blindness, as well as using new technology such as smartphones to track outbreaks of the disease and ensure treatment is reaching people who need it. More from Burkina Faso

Read about our work around the world

Where we work

More stories from the field

A village screening by Dr Ndalela under a tree.
Sightsavers from the field

Sightsavers in Zambia: protecting rural communities from trachoma

Sightsavers’ Tom Hodgson travelled to Zambia to see how eye surgeon Mr Ndalela is saving sight by diagnosing and treating people for trachoma.

December 2018
Two medical staff clean eyes of men in traditional african dress.
Sightsavers from the field

November updates: highlights from around the world

News about a programme that has distributed more than 137,000 pairs of glasses across eight countries. Plus updates from Guinea, Cote d’Ivoire, Mozambique and more.

November 2018
Villagers gather round to have their eyes checked.
Sightsavers from the field

Saving sight in Zambia’s most remote regions

Sightsavers’ Caitlin Maslen travelled with an outreach team as they visited an isolated village to treat people with trachoma.

November 2018

Learn about our work to save sight