How radio is helping us save sight

How radio is helping us save sight

Imagine you have a problem with your eyes. You’d probably go to the doctor, right? In developed countries, like the UK and Ireland, we find it easier to access health care than most. But in some of the world’s poorest places, getting help for your eyes isn’t as easy as picking up the phone and making a doctor’s appointment. The cost of transport alone makes accessing health care tough, so our outreach team uses radio announcements to spread eye care messages to rural communities.

In November 2015, Sightsavers’ Senior Media and PR Officer Sarah Filbey travelled with our Uganda outreach team to visit the child eye health programme Seeing Is Believing,  funded by Standard Chartered Bank. Here, she talks about the importance of radio in reaching those living in some of Uganda’s most rural areas. Click on the play button below to listen.

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Reymond’s story

Raymond-&-Mother-10

13-year-old Reymond’s mum, Ansella recalls how listening to the radio helped save her son’s sight:

“It’s good to listen to the radio because the eye health messages are repeated throughout the day, so the message and the dates for screenings became very clear. If I hadn’t had the radio, I would have remained ignorant and my son would still be blind. My husband kept buying radios but four of them got broken by the children. He said ‘that’s it, I’m not buying any more!’ So I went and bought one myself.”

After the radio outreach…

Once the team have completed their week-long radio outreach, they start preparing for a week of screening. During this week, the eye health team can see up to a thousand people! They work tirelessly to ensure that nobody is turned away unseen, treating any minor eye conditions on the spot with medication provided by Sightsavers, and referring anyone with a more serious eye condition to other, more advanced medical facilities.

Screening-image

After the screening, both children and adults who have been diagnosed with trachoma or cataract are treated at Benedictine Eye Hospital. Sightsavers’ Project Co-ordinator Moses arranges what are often long journeys for families to the hospital and takes care of things during their stay.

Stay tuned to our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram channels to find out more about those who carry out our outreach eye screening work, and for updates on the five children you met last week!

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What is A Million Miracles?

A Million Miracles is Sightsavers’ biggest ever campaign to support the work we do. The campaign aims to fund one million operations that will restore, save and protect people’s sight in some of the poorest parts of the world. A sight-saving operation for an adult costs £30 which means to reach our goal we need to raise £30 million by the end of 2017.

Sightsavers works in some of the poorest countries to eliminate avoidable blindness and, where blindness is irreversible, we work to promote equality and ensure people with disabilities have the same opportunities in life as anyone else.

Your donation will help make this happen. Whether it’s funding the operation itself, getting someone to a doctor, giving children with visual impairments an education, providing support to families affected by blindness – by giving your support today you’re changing people’s lives.

To find out more about Sightsavers’ work visit sightsavers.org

/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/UK-AID-Donations_flag-RGB_white_5px.pngFrom 9th October 2017 to 9th January 2018 the UK government will match your donation, enabling us to provide two miracles for every one you fund. The matched funds raised through UK Aid Match will support our projects in Pakistan and Bangladesh.

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