In January, Sightsavers staff around the world marked the first ever Neglected Tropical Diseases Day. From awareness campaigns to a health walk, Sightsavers staff celebrated how much has been achieved in the fight against NTDs. Discover how Sightsavers staff marked the day
Also in February, we launched our first Facebook fundraising campaign. Walk 50 encouraged our supporters to get their walking boots on and cover 50 miles – or more – in February. And more than 3,000 people rose to the challenge, often battling the elements, to raise money for Sightsavers. It was so successful we ran the campaign again in August, when our supporters raised a huge $28,830. About the campaign
As the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Sightsavers staff all around the world began to work remotely full time. We wanted to raise awareness about the importance of keeping everyone’s eyes healthy while working at home. Little did we know we’d still be doing it eight months later! Read our advice
Sightsavers research highlighting inequalities in eye care was published in the Journal of Ophthalmic Epidemiology and Devex. The research, which took place in India, Pakistan and Tanzania, showed that women and those from a lower socio-economic background were often disproportionally affected by eye problems. Read the news story
For many people living with neglected tropical diseases – including people with disabilities or from rural communities – services are unavailable and unaffordable. We carried out research in Nigeria aimed at understanding the experiences of people with NTDs, and how to solve the problems they face in receiving treatment. Read more about the research
Also in July, the WHO announced a 91 per cent reduction in the number of people with trachoma since 2002 – from more than 1.5 billion people to 136.9 million as of May 2020. The report also showed a huge 74 per cent drop in the number of people needing surgery for trichiasis, the advanced form of the disease. Read the news story
As the Commonwealth Fund came to an end in September, ten million people had been protected from trachoma in 10 countries. During the two-year programme, Sightsavers and partners delivered 11.7 million treatments to manage trachoma and carried out nearly 32,000 surgeries for the advanced form of the disease. Read the news story
Sightsavers’ disability rights campaign, Equal World, won the Digital Innovation category in the 2020 Third Sector Awards with its unique campaign petition app. The app, developed by Sightsavers’ in-house technical team, allowed staff in programme countries to collect signatures for the petition from people living in areas without internet coverage. Read the news story
Although unable hold an awards ceremony in person this year, the judges were still amazed by the entries for Sightavers Ireland’s annual Junior Painter of the Year. The contest, open to primary school children across Ireland, inspires hundreds of budding young artists to promote equality for people with disabilities in developing countries through art. See the winning entries
Sightsavers Ireland created an interactive workshop for primary school children which explores inclusive education and disability. The workshop, which is funded by Irish Aid, uses animations, videos and quizzes to teach children about disability, and encourages them to become a ‘disability inclusion champion’! Visit the workshop
The UK government’s new international women and girls strategy is a positive step. But because 18 per cent of women have a disability, it is essential that disability inclusion is prioritised.
Gertrude, who is Sightsavers’ global advocacy manager for social inclusion, becomes the first African woman to lead the United Nations Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
Sightsavers is sad to learn of the death of disability rights activist Judith Heumann, who was often referred to as the ‘mother of the disability rights movement’.