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.


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 boy using a phone with his father sitting behind.
Sightsavers from the field

Programme staff explain how we’re supporting children's learning during lockdown

Sightsavers’ staff provide a first-hand insight into the five ways we’re making sure children with disabilities aren’t left behind during the COVID-19 pandemic.

July 2020
Babacar performs surgery wearing protective equipment on a trachoma patient.
Sightsavers from the field

Saving sight in Senegal during the COVID-19 pandemic

Without eye surgeon Babacar's efforts, people could have been at risk of going blind from the advanced form of trachoma during the lockdown.

July 2020
Dr Amadou wearing scrubs and a face mask.
Sightsavers from the field

Celebrating our trachoma health workers

Health workers around the world have been thrown into the spotlight as they fight the COVID-19 pandemic. With this has come a renewed appreciation of their skills and hard work.

June 2020

Learn about our work to save sight