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Photo of sight-saving surgery is nominated for prestigious UK prize

June 2019
A surgeon operates, using only the light of a window, on a patient to save their sight from trachoma.
The image was captured by photographer Adriane Ohanesian.

A photograph of Sightsavers-supported eye surgery in a remote region of South Sudan has been nominated for a leading UK photography prize.

Adriane Ohanesian’s image of a trachoma surgeon operating on a teenager in a makeshift clinic has been put forward for the Wellcome Photography Prize 2019 in the ‘Medicine in Focus’ category.

Adriane took the photo while accompanying a Sightsavers team to Nasir County in South Sudan’s Upper Nile state. The team was there to perform surgery for a range of eye conditions, including cataracts and trachoma. The latter is one of the most common causes of blindness in Nasir.

Anthony Wani, director of Sightsavers’ South Sudan country office, said: “It is wonderful to hear of this nomination. We hope it will help to raise awareness of the eye health issues affecting many people in South Sudan, both in Nasir and beyond, and the lengths people go to so that those affected can reclaim their sight.”

The winner of the Wellcome Prize will be announced on 3 July, and the winning and shortlisted entries will be on show at the Lethaby Gallery in London on 4-13 July.

A wide shot of the rural landscape in Nasir, South Sudan. The fields are very wet and the grass is a lush green.

Saving sight in remote South Sudan

People in remote parts of the country often travel for days to seek medical treatment, which is why the work of Sightsavers’ outreach teams is so vital.

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