An Introduction to Sightsavers
After being blinded by a chemistry experiment that went awry, local schoolboy John Wilson helped to open up the door of opportunity for those who had lost their eyesight. In the 1950’s he founded the British Empire Society for the Blind, which changed names throughout the years until 1986, when it officially received the name of Sightsavers. A charitable organization which promotes the rights of those with disabilities and helps individuals who have preventable blindness.
According to a May 2018 news article that was posted on the Sightsavers website entitled “First treatments for trachoma distributed in Yemen”, well known pharmaceutical company Pfizer donated over 444,000 doses of the medication Zithromax to citizens who had been afflicted with trachoma, a preventable blindness in the war-ravaged area of Yemen.
Over four-thousand devoted volunteers, many of which were women, traveled through hundreds of local villages and administering the drug to those who would benefit from it. While there, they also handed out personal hygiene kits and provided educational advice as well.
Trachoma is a preventable disease that’s spread through human contact with flies. If left untreated, can lead to various eye issues and in some severe cases, total blindness which cannot be treated. This neglected tropical disease affects two in a half million people in Yemen. It is an area that’s been affected by war throughout the years and of its residents don’t even have a sustainable water supply or healthy living conditions. Making them more susceptible to the disease.
With the ever present war lingering in Yemen, the volunteers seeking to assist local villagers find it to be quite challenging. However, despite the looming danger around every corner, continue to administer their volunteer services to residents of the area.