SIGHT SAVERS INTERNATIONAL

Dear Sight Savers,
My name is Amrita. I am ten years old. I go to Niral Public School. I learn to dance, read and write. Doctor and teacher helped me to do this. Thank you Sight Savers, teacher and doctor. I love the centre very much.

(Amrita's sight was restored at the LV Prasad Eye Institute in Hyderabad).

Avoidable blindness

Tens of millions of people in the developing countries suffer needlessly from blindness. Most of the blindness in these countries is either preventable or treatable.

Cataracts. The lens of the eye becomes cloudy and stops light from entering. This condition affects around 20 million people. Cataracts can be removed by a simple operation and sight restored with the help of glasses. Cost of operation: 10/$16.

Trachoma. This disease eventually makes the eyelashes turn inwards so that they scratch the eyeball until sight is lost. Antibiotics can treat the problem early on, but an operation is needed to stop inturning eyelashes. Up to nine million people suffer from trachoma. Cost of antibiotic treatment: 50p/80 cents.

River Blindness. This disease, spread by the bite of a fly, blinds young adults. Once the eye has been damaged it is irreversible. Annual distribution of invermectin tablets can prevent the blinding effects of this disease. One million have gone blind and a further 20-30 million are infected or at risk.

Glaucoma. The loss of vision caused by increased pressure inside the eye. Up to three million people have been blinded in this way. It is irreversible and early detection is essential to pevent blindness.

These are just four causes of blindness which can be prevented or cured before the sufferer goes blind. And the costs involved in each case are very small. Sight Savers International helps suffers all over the world to avoid unnecessary blindness. You can help them.

15 protects 15 people against river blindness.
30 restores sight to three blind people.
70 runs a school sight testing and community eye health programme for two weeks.

Incurable blindness

Sight Savers International also helps the incurably blind to rebuild their lives. When 28-year-old Manumia lost his sight six years ago, he lost his joy in life and hope for the future. He was single, his parents were dead and he had to rely on his elder brother for everything. For four years everyone in his community shared his belief that, as a blind person, his life was as good as over. Now, with help from Sight Savers International's partner in Bangladesh, ABC, his life has been transformed. First he was helped to master the everyday activities like washing and shaving and finding his way around with a cane. After this he began to believe in himself again.

He wanted to earn a living and eventually was helped to set up a small motor parts and fuel garage. He was given a loan which he has since repaid and his business is doing so well that he has had to take on an assistant. Now he's looking for a wife.
(Adapted from Horizon, publication of Sight Savers International).

What Sight Savers has achieved

In 1998 Sight Savers helped over three million patients. This is what they did.
Patients seen

3,233,000

Treatments

1.928,000

Cataract surgeries

141,500

River Blindness protection

3,856,000

Doctors trained in new techniques

364

Rural eye workers trained

6,420

40 gives a blind person basic training.
100 trains a rehabilitation field worker to help the blind help themselves.
100 provides two blind school students with equipment for lessons.
320 provides a field worker with a sturdy moped so they can reach many more clients.

How we can help

Visit the Sight Savers International Web site.

Sight Savers International is working in the Caribbean, Latin America, six countries in South Asia and the Pacific, and 12 countries in Africa. You can read much more about the work of Sight Savers International if you visit their Web site. You can also register to receive information, write to them or make a donation.

Raise funds for Sight Savers International

Those of you who live in the UK can take part in fund-raising activities organised by supporters of Sight Savers International. Contact the Headquarters at the address below for details in your area or go to the Sight Savers International Web site for more information.

Make a donation

We can all make a donation to Sight Savers International to help them in their work. How rewarding it is to know that even the smallest donations are saving someone somewhere in the world from going blind. It isn't often that you can make such a dramatic difference to someone's life for the price of a night out! Why not get out your credit card or cheque book right now. And add the Sight Savers International Web site to your bookmarks so that you can make regular donations to their work.

Print this form and post it with your donation.

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Post to: Sight Savers International, Bolnore Road, Haywards Heath,
W. Sussex, RH16 4BX, UK.
(Registered Charity number 207544)

DISCLAIMER: This page has been created by me with the knowledge and approval of Sight Savers International. However, Sight Savers International are not responsible for the contents of this page.

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