They also include presbyopia, a normal ageing change, where the eye is no longer able to focus at close range.
These eye disorders can be particularly problematic in developing countries, where those affected may not be able to afford sight tests or spectacles to help improve their vision. What’s more, those living in rural areas may not have access to eye care – in sub-Saharan Africa, for example, two-thirds of ophthalmologists and optometrists are based in capital cities, leaving a shortage of trained eye care professionals working in rural areas.
We have also helped to train 734 optometrists and 437 optometric technicians, who are able to carry out sight tests, diagnose eye problems and help to treat people with low vision in some of the poorest parts of the world, who may otherwise not have access to eye healthcare.
Sightsavers’ School Health Integrated Programming (SHIP) project, which ran throughout 2016, screened schoolchildren in Cambodia, Ethiopia, Ghana and Senegal for health problems such as poor vision.
As part of the project, teachers were trained to carry out basic eye tests and refer children for further treatment. During the project, 57,400 children were screened for eye problems and 1,000 were given spectacles.
Download Sightsavers refractive error strategy (pdf) to read more about our work to treat refractive error.
For children such as Arthur, something as simple as a pair of glasses can mean the difference between a bright future and being trapped in a cycle of poverty.Read his story
On 14 October 2021, Sightsavers staff, partner organisations and supporters celebrated World Sight Day to raise awareness about the importance of access to good eye care.
In an interview for World Sight Day 2021, Sumrana Yasmin, Sightsavers’ global technical lead for eye health, talks to Mutave Mutemi about her work, the global eye health crisis and how we all have a part to play in addressing it.
The transgender community often experiences discrimination and can find it hard to access healthcare. Meet some of the people who benefited from a Sightsavers eye health screening aimed at marginalised groups.
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