World Health Day on 7 April marks the first anniversary of Sightsavers’ partnership with Spectrum Markets, which is helping to save children’s sight in Nigeria.
Since joining Sightsavers as a corporate partner in April 2021, Spectrum Markets has been supporting our childhood blindness project in Kaduna, Sokoto and Zamfara states.
The project provides vital eye care services and trains teachers to identify vision problems, enabling children to receive the treatment they need and continue their education. Without this support, children with cataracts and those who need glasses can fall behind and drop out of school.
Barbara Anang Marok, Sightsavers’ programme officer for eye health in Nigeria, said: “If you could see how the children show their appreciation, sometimes they’re lost for words. I saw a child who was 16 or 17 years old crying. She didn’t know if she would be able to see again, and now she can see. The feeling was overwhelming. We’re really grateful to Spectrum Markets for their support.”
Educating teachers to screen for vision impairments is a core aspect of the project, and Rakiya is one of the teachers who received the training. “I’m happy screening the children, as early identification of any eye problems can be beneficial to the child and their future,” she said. Rakiya now trains other teachers to test students’ eyesight.
Thanks to Spectrum Markets and our other key partners, over the past year Sightsavers has tested the eyesight of more than 243,000 people, provided 700 pairs of glasses to children, performed more than 200 cataract operations, and provided eye health training to nearly 3,000 teachers and health care workers.