Sightsavers is a nonprofit based in Chippenham, Wiltshire, United Kingdom, that was established in 1950. They do charity work in more than 30 nations where they promote eye health. They help people avoid blindness due to tropical diseases such as River blindness and Trachoma. They do so by educating people and providing medicines to those who have developed these disease. They also support people with disabilities so that they can lead fulfilling lives.
About one person in the world will go blind every five seconds according to the Royal National Institute of Blindness. The most common reason for blindness is Trachoma which is a bacterial infection. The problem is so large that even individual countries can’t solve this problem. It takes an international effort which is coordinated and concerted. Sightsavers provides antibiotics to those who have Trachoma. They can also assist those who need surgical intervention if their condition warrants it.
The main causes of Trachoma are a lack of clean water, poor sanitation, flies and other insects, and living in crowded spaces. This bacterial infection afflicts people in many nations across Africa, India, Southeast Asia, and the Carribean. Sightsavers says that it can quickly spread from one person to another.
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Sightsavers says that if Trachoma is got early in can be easily treated with antibiotics. If it isn’t treated, though, the person’s eyelids become scarred which makes it very painful to blink. The scars scratch up the eyeball, eventually leading to blindness. Trachoma is present in 42 nations and around 182 million people are at risk of developing it. 9 million people have gone blind as a result of contracting Trachoma.
In many countries, a person who is blind or visually impaired becomes marginalized by the rest of society, Sightsavers says. They are unable to work or even care for themselves or their families. Children who develop eye problems are unable to attend school or do the things that other kids enjoy such as playing with others. When Trachoma becomes an epidemic in a developing nation it can quickly outpace the resources that a country can put towards treating it.