Sightsavers from the field

July 2019 updates: highlights from around the world

July 2019
A student in Senegal reads braille in the classroom.


Seven surgeons trained to operate on trachoma patients

A group of surgeons have been trained and certified to provide trachoma operations, as part of a push to make sure the most vulnerable communities with the highest number of cases have adequate staff to treat the disease.

The training session took place in Senanga and Nalolo districts of the western province, and featured surgeons from both the southern and eastern provinces.

The surgeons crossed the Zambezi river and drove for long hours on sandy roads to reach the most marginalisedand vulnerable communities living on the banks of the Zambezi. The training was funded by DFID. More from Zambia

A group of trachoma surgeons in Zambia wearing scrubs and smiling.
The surgeons operated on 73 patients during the training.


Sightsavers joins See Now eye care campaign

The See Now campaign, fronted by Bollywood legend Amitabh Bachchan, aims to help end avoidable blindness in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh by encouraging people to have their eyes tested.

Sightsavers has now joined the campaign, which runs in five key districts: Unnao, Lucknow, Raebareli, Lakhimpur Kheri and Sitapur.  It aims to provide information on eye health issues via radio, TV, print, social media, WhatsApp and SMS, and is expected to reach as many as 10 million people.

Mr Bachchan said: “Vision problems are extremely common in India: about 550 million Indians have serious vision problems. People are often not aware of the availability of quality eye care services. It really is very simple to avoid blindness by preventative care.”

See Now is funded by The Fred Hollows Foundation and in part by Essilor Vision Foundation, working in partnership with Sightsavers India and Vision2020 India, among others. More from India

Amitabh Bachchan.
The campaign is led by Bollywood star Amitabh Bachchan.

Burkina Faso

Medication distributed at night to ensure workers don’t miss out

Sightsavers volunteers have been working through the night to distribute medication to protect people against river blindness, as part of a push to make sure everyone can be treated for the disease.

Traditionally, medication is distributed door to door in local communities during the day. However, this means many workers miss out on the treatment: farmers and gardeners in particular often leave the house very early and return after dark.

The new night-time campaign took place in the Cascades region on 14-23 June. Community volunteers, using the lights from their mobile phones, visited 10 local dwellings, each housing several households, and gave medication to 64 people who would otherwise not have been treated. The work has been funded by Fondation L’Occitane. More from Burkina Faso

A volunteer in Burkina Faso gives out medication in the dark.
Volunteers distributed medication by the light from their phones.


Teachers trained to read and write braille

A group of 51 teachers and six inspectors have been trained in braille so they can help children with visual impairments in school.

The training is part of a programme taking place in five pilot schools, which links to a new national inclusive education policy document being drawn up with the help of Sightsavers, UNICEF, HI and the Italian Cooperation. More from Senegal

A girl from Senegal reads braille in the classroom.
The training will enable teachers to help visually impaired students.

Read about our work around the world

Where we work

More stories from the field

Angeshita smiles broadly.
Sightsavers Reports

“I’m a living testimony of cataract surgery”

When Angeshita regained her independence after her eye operation, so did her family. They are now able to return to school and work, giving them all hope for the future.

An eye health doctor wearing a smart white shirt and sunglasses.
Sightsavers Reports

Alinafe cuts the queues

Learn about one man's mission to make a difference in Malawi by training as an eye health specialist.

A female community drug distributor measures a girl to see how much medication she needs to protect her from trachoma.
Sightsavers from the field

“Our programme has transformed communities”

Now in its sixth year, the Accelerate programme has already delivered 53 million treatments to protect people from trachoma, and managed 91,000 advanced cases of the disease.

March 2024

Learn about our work to save sight