August highlights: updates from around the world

August 2018


Eye screening for refugees in Turkana camp

Sightsavers has carried out an eye screening project at the Kakuma refugee camp in Turkana, north-western Kenya, helping to diagnose and treat eye problems among the camp’s residents. The screenings were part of Sightsavers’ CATCH project, funded by UK aid.

Because of their status as refugees, many residents are unable to leave the compound, so they rely on visiting health workers to treat them.

During Sightsavers’ project, eye health workers helped 46-year-old Hulo, from Somalia, who had been having trouble with her eyes for the past six years. Her refugee status meant she was unable to leave the camp to see an eye specialist as she was told her problem was ‘not serious enough’. Sightsavers staff gave her a pair of reading glasses, which improved her sight and enabled her to read the Quran once more.

Staff also examined Mr Lino, aged 60, who fled southern Sudan a year ago with his 13 children after war broke out in his homeland. He teaches catechism, but his vision was deteriorating and he was struggling to read. Luckily, after a quick eye exam he was given spectacles, enabling him to continue teaching. More from Kenya

Two eye health workers ride through a remote region in Nigeria.


New motorbikes help workers reach people in need

Charity evaluator GiveWell has donated motorbikes to eye health workers in Nigeria, enabling them to travel to remote areas more easily to treat people with eye conditions.

Before they receive the motorbikes, health workers used to rely on local clinics to submit reports and then communicated with them using mobile phones. Now they are able to visit remote areas themselves, and can cover a wider area and treat more people. The bikes also enable them to travel much faster, meaning they are able to train more workers, ensuring that their work distributing medication is more effective. More from Nigeria

A school building in India with a ramp up to the door.
After their accessibility training, civil engineers are now more aware about the need for ramps and other inclusive features in schools.


Civil engineers trained to make schools more accessible

A training programme for civil engineers run by Sightsavers and its partners is helping to make schools in Madhya Pradesh more accessible for students with disabilities.

All engineers from the local district education centre took part in the two-day course, which explained the difficulties faced by children with disabilities, and showed how schools can be made more accessible.

Civil engineer Deepak Verma, who is working on a new school in Rasuliya Hoshangabad, used what he learned during the course to check the accessibility of his project. He discovered the ramps being installed did not meet accessibility guidelines, so after meeting with his contractor, the plans were modified to ensure the new school will be fully accessible. More from India


Sightsavers restores Usman’s vision

Nine-year-old Usman started having problems with his sight a year ago: his teacher noticed his handwriting was getting worse, and he was finding it hard to pay attention in class. By June this year he could barely participate in school without the help of his siblings or friends, and it became obvious he had cataracts.

Usman’s father was worried: two of Usman’s older brothers had had cataract surgery, in 2012 and 2013, and he didn’t know what was causing their eye problems. So he took Usman to hospital in Zaria, where he was referred for surgery, supported by Sightsavers.

After operations on both eyes, Usman can see again and is looking forward to going back to school. His mother, Amina, says she is grateful to Sightsavers and its donors for helping to give her son back his sight. More from Nigeria

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