Sightsavers Pakistan has been working with the country’s government to carry out an audit of parliament and national assembly buildings, in an effort to make them as accessible as possible for people with disabilities.
The audit outlined several shortcomings and offered practical recommendations to improve the existing infrastructure and increase public awareness about the importance of accessibility.
Sightsavers is also helping to produce braille copies of the country’s constitution, as well as making the national assembly website more accessible for people with visual impairments. More from Pakistan
A Sightsavers programme in Morogoro province is ensuring eye care services reach those in need by spreading the word among local communities.
District authorities use loudspeakers to advertise their eye care services, as well as raising awareness among local religious leaders, teachers and schools.
Amina (pictured below), who is 67 years old, is one of the latest patients to have her sight restored. She is a traditional healer, but her eyesight started to deteriorate and she was unable to continue working. Eventually, she went blind.
Then one of her students heard about eye specialists visiting the local hospital. Amina went to have her eyes checked, was diagnosed with cataracts and had surgery the following day. “From now on, I will refer all who are coming to me with eye problems to the hospital for proper eye treatment,” she said.
The eye camp services are provided by Sightsavers under the Inclusive Eye Health (Boresha Macho) project, funded by the UK government’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO). More from Tanzania
Burkina Faso’s neglected tropical disease programme has been running since 2011, with ophthalmic nurses originally overseeing the screening process for trachoma and lymphatic filariasis in two health regions.
Now the programme has started using case finders, who travel to local communities to find people who have signs of the diseases. The case finders are able to target specific geographic areas, as well as reach more women.
The case finders’ work has been made easier by giving them images of trachoma cases from the USAID Morbidity Management and Disability Prevention (MMDP) project, which helps them to identify symptoms of trachoma, as well as raising awareness among local communities.
In Korhogo in the north of the country, five patients have had surgery to treat trachoma, with staff ensuring they took precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Patients and staff wore masks, washed their hands and had their temperature taken to ensure no one had any symptoms of the virus.
The work is funded by Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Children’s Investment Fund Foundation, National Philanthropic Trust, The ELMA Foundation and Virgin Unite. More from Côte d’Ivoire