Sightsavers is an international charitable organization who partners with other countries to not only treat but potentially prevent blindness. They continue to help the visually impaired and to promote equality for people living with disabilities. The charity was founded in 1950 to provide eye care to people who live in the poorest counties of the world, who could not afford to visit an eye doctor, the ability to see again. Sightsavers has been able to restore sight to four-hundred-thousand people suffering from cataract; by 2017 they have successfully been able to treat one billion people who suffer from neglected tropical diseases.
Blind activist Sir John Foster Wilson established Sightsavers in 1950; it was named the Royal Commonwealth Society for the Blind. John lost his vision at an early age, but he didn’t allow his blindness to become a disability or slow his momentum, he went on to study Law at Oxford University. In the 1950’s, John and his wife, Lady Jean Wilson traveled to West Africa, this was during a time when many people of West Africa were suffered from treatable-blindness. This type of blindness is usually caused by trachoma or onchocerciasis. John and his wife were able to determine that nearly eighty percent of the blindness in West Africa was treatable.
Our colleague Kate followed a surgical outreach team as they were tracking down and treating the final cases of blinding #trachoma in northern Ghana. In the photo is Fusi, ophthalmic nurse. LINK IN BIO: http://po.st/trachoma-final-days. 📷 Ruth McDowell. #sightsavers #sight #sightloss #vision #blindness #visionloss #beatNTDs #NoMoreNTDs #ghana #africa #westafrica #discoverportrait #portraitphotography #portraitpage #peopleinframe #smiling
Billions of people suffer from eye diseases that could possibly be prevented or cured, but due to poverty and lack of proper medical facilities, many people remain untreated. In the 1960’s John and his wife went on to open mobile eye health care units in Nigeria, Kenya, Pakistan, and Uganda. After John passed away in 1999, his widow, Lady Jean Wilson helped to broaden his work through the Sightsavers organization; they continue to empower disabled people, providing them the guidance to help lead independent, fulfilled lives.
Sightsavers continues to save lives in India. In July 2018 the group announced they were starting a social media campaign to highlight their goals towards helping the visually impaired people of India. They first became involved with India in 1966, helping to screen and treat people with eye diseases, providing antibiotics to thousands of people. The group continues to help change people’s lives, a 72-year-old man living in India named Madhav developed cataracts to the point where he was legally blind, Sightsavers volunteered to perform the surgery for free to restore his vision. The organization is dedicated to helping to provide communities the tools and resources needed to help assist people living with visual impairment.