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The Keep Sight initiative

To tackle glaucoma in India and Nigeria, Sightsavers is working with pharmaceutical company AbbVie and the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB).

Optometrist Mohammed checks a patient's eyes.

Keep Sight is the eye care sector’s first multi-year initiative to treat and prevent glaucoma.

It combines years of experience from AbbVie, the IAPB and Sightsavers and addresses the challenges of glaucoma, a condition that can slowly and painlessly cause permanent vision loss. It is one of the world’s leading causes of blindness.

Many people become blind from glaucoma before they even know they have it. By the time their sight has started to deteriorate, their optic nerve may already be so damaged that nothing can be done. We want to make sure more people can be screened and provided with the vital treatment in time.

Keep Sight launched in India in October 2019 in partnership with Sankara Eye Hospital, and the first outreach camp took place in December 2019 for World Disability Day. In February 2020, the official launch event helped to awareness about the initiative and the importance of eye testing.

Keep Sight logo.

Learn more about this widespread eye condition

What is glaucoma?

 Where does the project run?

In countries where resources, training or health infrastructures are lacking, healthcare professionals often struggle to help those most at risk. Keep Sight started in two countries where glaucoma treatment is most needed:

  • In Nigeria, around five per cent of the population has glaucoma. Nigeria accounts for half of all glaucoma cases in Africa.
  • In India, glaucoma is the leading cause of irreversible blindness, and affects at least 12 million people.

Over time, our aim is to scale up the pilot projects so that we can replicate this work across other areas and countries.

What does Keep Sight hope to achieve?

The project aims to help both countries protect the sight of as many people as possible by raising awareness, carrying out eye screenings, training health workers and providing treatment. Although glaucoma is incurable, it can be controlled with medication or surgery, and this is vital to help avoid unnecessary suffering.

Since October 2019, the project has already screened more than 20,000 people for the condition.

Watch our video to learn more about the project.

See what Keep Sight has achieved so far

A surgeon performs eye surgery while a consultant and other trainees look on.

Fighting “the silent thief of sight”

As part of the project in Nigeria, eye surgeons are learning new ways to treat patients with glaucoma through practical demonstrations and hands-on sessions. Read the story

A man sitting on a hospital bed is interviewed by a Sightsavers staff member.

Overcoming inequality

In countries that lack resources, community engagement and behaviour change are key when encouraging people to come forward for glaucoma treatment. Read the blog

An eye health worker stood infront of a Keep Sight banner holds an eye examining instrument to her eye.

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