Three Sightsavers nominees from Tanzania have received recognition in the 2020 IAPB Vision Excellence Awards.
The winners were Anande Swai, Dr Secondri Njau and Dr Upendo Mwakabalile, who work with Sightsavers in Tanzania and have made huge contributions to eye health services in the country.
Anande Swai is an ophthalmic nurse and equipment technician with over 20 years of experience working in eye services in rural areas of Tanzania. She is known for her great patient relations and expertise.
Based in Morogoro Region as the regional eye coordinator, Dr Sencodri Njau is an experienced cataract surgeon, providing eye health services to the region and beyond. He has championed providing services for the most marginalised communities.
Dr Upendo Mwakabalile is the regional eye coordinator in Singida Region and is a dedicated cataract surgeon. She is an advocate for gender equality in eye health.
Sightsavers’ country director for Tanzania, Godwin Kabalika, said: “It is really inspiring to see so many of our hardworking colleagues being recognised by the international eye health community. They are all excellent role models and have made a huge impact on efforts towards achieving VISION 2020 and on eye services in Tanzania. We are very proud of all three.”
The Vision Excellence Awards, given by the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB), recognise people who have significantly contributed to VISION 2020 and its goals and outcomes. VISION 2020: The Right to Sight was a global eye health initiative launched in 1999, which sought to promote “a world in which nobody is needlessly visually impaired and those with unavoidable vision loss can achieve their full potential”. It ended in 2020 and has made a huge difference to global eye health, creating a major focus in the countries and districts where action is needed.