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This year, World Sight Day falls on Thursday 13th October and draws the world’s attention to the importance of eye care. The mission is to encourage those in the eye care sector to prioritise their own eye health and ask leaders to ensure that eye care is accessible, inclusive and affordable to everyone across the globe.
You might remember that last year, the team at Vision Executives complete the Yorkshire 3 Peaks Challenge and raised over £1,500 between us to support several charities on World Sight Day 2021.
We caught up with some of the charities that we supported got find out how the money we donated was spent and this is what they had to say:
Himalayan Cataract Project
“We had a great year last year and we really appreciated your help in reaching so many people living with needless blindness. This link will take you to our 2021 annual report that will let you know what we accomplished last year. With the help of Vision Executives International Recruitment, HCP and our partners performed over 131,000 sight-restoring surgeries in Nepal, Tanzania, Ethiopia, South Sudan, Ghana, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Kenya and Bhutan in 2021. We continued to travel to some of the most remote areas of the world to provide care. We wouldn't be able to do this work without the compassion of people like you.
In terms of stories, our favourite story from last year was a pediatrics story about a baby names Beatrice who was going blind. She is now doing well - here is an update on her progress!
Here is a link to their most recent video.
We are over half way through the year and our work to reach as many people as possible with sight-restoring surgery is going strong. We have started several new programs, including one in the Philippines. Our Co-Founder, Dr. Geoff Tabin, recently returned from the Philippines where, with our partners from SEE International and a local Filipino team, restored sight to over 1,000
Next, Dr. Tabin and our teams head to Malawi and Tanzania for surgical outreach for waiting patients.
There is much work to be done, but I hope you and Vision Executives share our excitement for what lies ahead for Himalayan Cataract Project and our partners.”
Andean Medical Mission
“The donation was incredibly useful and we used it in screening of patients for surgery this October. I have a team arriving on the 15th October and we hope to be able to complete 100 cataract operations in two weeks.
Whilst we were screening we also vaccinated children against measles and polio. Measles as you may well know is a blinding disease in developing countries and so although its hard to measure the impact of this work initially, we will almost certainly have reduced the likelihood of these children losing vision from these completely avoidable diseases.”
The AnDean Medical Mission have a surgical trip in October and a subsequent one in May after the rainy season has passed in which they will continue training doctors, vaccinations, screening patients and providing low vision aids and glasses. The screening looks to find glaucoma and uveitis patients to deal with and treat medically to save their vision.
Sight for All
“We have just come off an 18 month process to be re-accredited by the Australian Government's Dept of Foreign Trade and Affairs. We receive funding from their program (called ANCP) but the accreditation is a full on process, reviewing the organisation from top to bottom, accessing our processes and policies etc. The impact of accreditation is two-fold; we receive funding from the Aust Govt to run projects but it also gives our corporate partners the confidence of our systems and legitimacy. The process is the same whether your are a multi-national NFP or a small NGO like SFA!
So we are pumped (but exhausted) that we have received accreditation for the next 5 years!
And straight after this, we launched World Sight Day!
So what have we been doing with the WSD funds? Generally, we use World Sight Day Campaign funds to support a number of projects over the year. In 2021 this included funding childhood blindness research in Lao, an eye clinic at the Westcare site in Adelaide (to help people experiencing homelessness or disadvantage communities) and towards an Early Childhood Eye Health Awareness Project.
For 2022 one of the key projects we have identified so far is funding to bring our Ophthalmic Country Officer Dr Baysa from Mongolia to Australia. Dr Baysa has received sponsorship to attend the annual major ophthalmology congress in Australia (RANZCO). We are funding his flights and accommodation to attend the Congress in Brisbane and then bringing him to Adelaide for an observership at the RAH and use of a Cataract Surgical Simulator, skills that he will use in treating patients back in Mongolia.
Depending on the funds raised, we will allocate funds to various other projects or to supplement other projects (eg to buy equipment that we can send overseas).”
At Vision Executives, we believe it’s also our mission to support the sector we work in through supporting worldwide causes that help individuals in need. World Sight Day is a fantastic way to bring awareness around the sight of all globally.
As part of the pledge this year, World Sight Day are looking to gain 5 million sight tests pledged to raise awareness and drive demand. If you’re an individual, head to their website and pledge to get your sight tested or pledge to take better care of your eyes here - https://www.iapb.org/world-sight-day/pledging-tool/
Nearly everyone in the world will experience eye health issue during their lifetime, however, more than one billion people globally do not have access to the services they require to see clearly. On this World Sight Day, we’re promoting The Love Your Eyes Campaign which encourages individuals to prioritise their own eye health, whilst advocating for accessible, affordable, and available eyecare all over the world.
Are you taking care of your eyes? Find out using their useful quiz - https://www.iapb.org/world-sight-day/quiz/
We are keen to hear from other charitable organisations that could benefit from our ongoing support.