A half-day training course has been held in Islamabad to give teachers the skills to screen their students for eye conditions.
In total, 32 teachers attended the training session (pictured above) as part of Sightsavers’ SHIP programme. This aims to help teachers identify eye conditions such as refractive errors and common eye ailments. Any children found to have vision issues can then be referred to an optometrist to be diagnosed and treated.
Over the next three years, the project aims to train 1,500 teachers in Pakistan so they can screen more than 200,000 children in 422 schools in the Islamabad region. More from Pakistan
Cristina Abudo Pires, who works in Sightsavers’ Mozambique office, has been named best student on her masters course in development management.
Cristina has been studying at the Catholic University of Mozambique in Beira, and received her diploma on 17 August 2019. She was presented with a certificate to commemorate her achievement as best student. More from Mozambique
Sightsavers has been working with the Nigeria Federal Ministry of Health to draw up a national policy on eye health.
The policy aims to ensure more collaboration on eye health in the country, and is now waiting for final approval from the National Council on Health before it is formally adopted. It is hoped it will enable more collaboration to ensure more people can be treated for eye conditions, particularly in poorer areas.
The policy is likely to benefit residents such as 45-year-old Hajiya Luba, from Tambagarka in northern Nigeria. She has been working as a community volunteer for the past six years, distributing medication to help treat and protect local people from trachoma.
“We advocate for facial cleanliness and environmental sanitation, and help to educate people – particularly women – about its importance,” she says. “We pray for those who are supporting us with the free drugs and surgeries and hope it keeps coming.” More from Nigeria
A local organisation for disabled people in Mahasamund district in Chhattisgarh has appointed new members to champion its cause and fight for disability rights.
The Usha Kiran Divyang Sangh group was set up in February 2019, but was struggling to move forward and make an impact. Elections for a new committee were held in June, leading to the appointment of a new president, vice-president, secretary, treasurer and two executive members.
The new committee will meet each month, and aims to recruit new members and raise awareness of the organisation among local people with disabilities. It hopes to help members deal with issues including claiming their pension and ensuring assistive devices are available, and will liaise with government bodies including the social justice and health departments. More from India
In Nigeria and Kenya, two innovative education projects are enabling children with disabilities to reach their potential.
Since 2012, Sightsavers has been using smartphones to collect high-quality data, so that countries can effectively map the disease and focus their elimination efforts.
Dr Moira Chinthambi received a Sightsavers scholarship to train as an ophthalmologist and now works on our inclusive eye health programme in Malawi.