June highlights: updates from around the world

June 2018
Anwar, who has a prosthetic leg, running alongside other people with disabilities.
Anwar (centre) ran the 5km race with other members of the local disabled people's organisation in Raipur.


Anwar wins silver in 5km ‘blade runner’ race

Anwar Khan, a local disability advocate from Raipur in central India, finished second in a 5km run for athletes with disabilities, picking up a prize of Rs10,000 (£110).

Anwar lost one of his legs in a road accident five years ago, and has since become a champion for people with disabilities in his local area. He is an active member of his local disabled people’s organisation, which was set up by Sightsavers partner Samerth Charitable Trust, and he encourages other members to banish stigma by getting involved in everyday activities.

The 5km ‘blade runner’ race, open to runners with prostheses, was part of the New Raipur Half Marathon event, in which thousands of athletes raced round Sendh Reservoir. There was also a 5km tricycle race for athletes with disabilities.

Several other members of the local disabled people’s group also took part in the race after being encouraged by Anwar.

Anwar said: “I never allow my disability to dominate my positive attitude – I always take part in activities for people with disabilities and inspire others to join. Participating in the run was of the biggest achievement of my life.” More from India

A group of health workers and local leaders.
Staff from Sightsavers’ NTDs programme discussed treatment options with local community leaders in Nigeria.


Sightsavers staff meet community leaders to discuss NTD treatments

In Benue state, staff have been meeting community leaders to give them information about upcoming projects to prevent neglected tropical diseases.

The support of community leaders is essential to the success of our disease prevention programmes, which involve distributing medication throughout the local community. The leaders have a huge say in what happens in their villages, and command the respect of everyone living there.

With their support, the message about medication being distributed is spread to everyone in the community. They also help to decide who should distribute the medicine and can make sure local people are willing to take it. More from Nigeria


40 health workers trained to carry out lymphatic filariasis surgery

A week-long training course for surgeons and health workers took place at Lira Regional Hospital to help staff operate on people with lymphatic filariasis.

The training, carried out by experienced consultant surgeons, was aimed at medical and clinical officers, anaesthetists and theatre nurses, and is the first time a course of this type has taken place in Uganda. The aim was improve staff expertise in hydrocele surgery, which can help to ease the symptoms for men who have lymphatic filariasis affecting their genitals. In total, 40 staff completed the course, which will enable more operations to be carried out in the district.

Work to prevent lymphatic filariasis has been taking place in the area for several years, and this latest step will help to improve the quality of life of people who already have the disease. More from Uganda


Staff meet British Ambassador to prepare for global disability summit

In preparation for the first international Global Disability Summit in London in July, staff from Sightsavers’ country office in Senegal met British Ambassador George Hodgson to discuss the country’s participation in the summit.

During the meeting, which took place at the Ambassador’s residence, staff drew up a plan to encourage the Senegalese government to commit to the action agreed at the summit. They also planned to organise an event in Dakar to coincide with the summit and raise awareness.

Also in Senegal this month, staff from Sightsavers helped local disabled people’s organisations to prepare a report on the UN’s Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The report aims to assess disability rights in the country, analyse any gaps in previous reports and make sure people with disabilities’ voices are heard. More from Senegal


David Kithura, a farmer from Samburu county in Kenya, hadn’t been able to see for more than a year. But thanks to Sightsavers’ CATCH programme, which helps patients to be referred for treatment for eye diseases, his vision has been restored and he can now support his family.

David was originally diagnosed with cataracts six months ago at Isiolo County Hospital. But the hospital has no cataract surgeons, and although he was referred to a nearby hospital, he couldn’t afford to travel there or pay for the treatment.

Luckily, Sightsavers recently held a CATCH camp close to David’s home, where he was examined and referred for surgery, funded by UK Aid. On arriving at the clinic, his failing sight meant he had to be led by the hand to guide him through the corridors. The day after his operation, he was able to walk by himself, and said he was able to see everything around him. More from Kenya

A group of cataract patients smile broadly after surgery.
Beru (second from left) was nervous at first, but was overjoyed with the results of his cataract operation.


“Surgery was the best decision I ever made!”

When 70-year-old Beru heard that one of Sightsavers partner hospitals was carrying out cataract surgery in his area, his friends tried to dissuade him – despite the fact that he was almost blind and had had to give up work. But he decided to go ahead with the operation, and is over the moon that he can now see again.

Beru’s local hospital, in Jhabua in western India, is battling to convince local people that they should seek health care from medical professionals, rather than relying on local healers. Staff hope that Beru’s story will encourage people to come to them for treatment, enabling to restore the sight of many more people. More from India

Read about our work around the world

Where we work

More stories from the field

Four patients wait while socially distancing for their trauchoma surgery while wearing PPE and face masks.
Sightsavers from the field

Eye care and COVID-19: what we’ve learned during the pandemic

Throughout the pandemic, our priority has been to restart our work quickly and safely. Sightsavers staff reveal our how eye care programmes have evolved in the past 18 months.

October 2021
Safia has her eyes examined by a health worker to check for signs of trachoma.
Sightsavers from the field

Seeing clearly: five sight-saving stories in Benin

The Accelerate programme, supported by Sightsavers, aims to stop people going blind from trachoma. In Benin, five patients reveal how the programme has changed their lives.

September 2021
A group of young children playing on a climbing frame outside a school
Sightsavers from the field

Education, not discrimination: Malawi’s inclusive pre-schools

An inclusive education project in Malawi is challenging stigma and changing lives by enabling young children with disabilities to attend pre-school alongside their peers.

September 2021

Learn about our work to save sight