DONATE

Sightsavers Eye Health Hero meets the Queen

October 2020
A screenshot of a video call between Peter Holland, Jalikatu Mustapha, the Queen and the Countess of Wessex.

Sightsavers ophthalmologist Dr Jalikatu Mustapha, who recently won an IAPB Eye Health Hero Award, received a video call from Her Majesty the Queen to mark World Sight Day.

Dr Jalikatu joined three other eye health professionals and chief executive of the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) Peter Holland to speak to the Queen and Sophie, Countess of Wessex on World Sight Day, which took place on 8 October.

Dr Jalikatu, who is one of only four ophthalmologists in Sierra Leone, said: “I was so excited to have this opportunity to talk about eye health at such an influential level, and explain how important it is and the difference I have seen our treatments make to so many lives. It feels this opportunity could give us real leverage to do more work and help more people.”

She added that it was a “real honour” to meet the Queen and the Countess of Wessex, saying: “I was nervous, but they really put me at ease with a really personal touch. It felt like family history repeating itself when I got the invitation, because my grandfather met Her Majesty in 1961 when she visited Sierra Leone. The photo of them meeting was a centrepiece in our family room all my life, so for me to follow in his footsteps felt extra special.”

Peter Holland added: “There are over a billion people globally who experience some form of sight loss and do not have access to treatment. The COVID-19 pandemic has made this situation worse, with many people not being able to access the care they need.

“This year’s theme for World Sight Day is ‘Hope in Sight’. This is important as we need to be optimistic for the future and reflect the hope and opportunity that good eye care can bring to people. Something as simple as glasses or a cataract operation can really change a person’s life.

“We thank Her Majesty and Her Royal Highness this year especially as we come to the end of the successful VISION 2020 programme, of which the Countess has been the Global Ambassador, and for the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust, which did so much to help fund eye health projects all over the Commonwealth.”

Dr Jalikatu was awarded the the ‘Change Makers’ award from the IAPB for her work with partners to improve rates of cataract coverage, reduce the burden of glaucoma, increase available data on national eye health and strengthen health care systems and infrastructure.

Eye Health Heroes

Dr Jalikatu Mustapha was one of three Sightsavers winners at the IAPB Eye Health Hero Awards.

Meet the winners

Read all our latest news stories

News from Sightsavers
A small child receives his annual dose of medication to protect him from trachoma.
sightsavers_news

Transform your idea into a life-changing project to fight NTDs

The Ascend Learning and Innovation Fund is funding projects to accelerate the control and elimination efforts of neglected tropical diseases.

October 2020
A group of women hold hands in a large circle.
sightsavers_news

Sightsavers' Equal World campaign wins Third Sector award

Sightsavers' innovative campaign app allowed staff in programme countries to collect petition signatures from people living in areas without internet coverage.

October 2020
A close-up of a plastic vial containing the flies that transmit river blindness.
sightsavers_news

Three Sightsavers nominees win IAPB awards

The accolades, from the the International Association and Prevention of Blindness (IAPB), recognise and celebrate young and upcoming staff and volunteers within the eye health sector.

October 2020

Learn about our work to save sight