Sightsavers: Tackling an International Epidemic

Blindness is often thought of as a condition that someone is born with, and while that is true there are other causes. Trachoma, an infection caused by bacteria, is the leading cause of blindness outside of genetic reasons. This bacterial infection is common in third world countries where the living conditions are not sanitary. Trachoma is contagious and very painful.


There is a simple cure for trachoma when it is treated in the early stages, but too often the afflicted have no way of getting the much-needed medication that could save their sight. Sightsavers, an international sight charity based out of the UK, is taking aim to treat trachoma with preventative action and treatment. The non-profit’s CEO Caroline Harper is leading the fight against this preventable disease. Through her organization’s efforts blindness and that staggering statistics about how common it is becoming has led to the British government to donate to this very worthy cause.


Sightsavers has already played a significant role in the battle against preventable blindness. In 2018 alone they entered the war-torn country of Yemen where they trained 4,000 volunteers to administer Zithromax® door-to-door, dispensed 440,000 doses of this sight-saving antibiotic, and were able to visit 273 isolated villages despite roadblocks and other obstacles. More than one billion treatments for NTDs(neglected tropical diseases) have been administrated through this organization and their many supporters, donors, and volunteers.


The non-profit organization Sightsavers was founded in 1951 by Sir John Wilson who had suddenly become blind following an accident in chemistry class. Their goals are to prevent blindness when possible, advocate for those without sight, and support the blind community. Their goals align with those of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals because both organizations believe that collaborating together brings about more awareness to issues, unity working towards common goals, and aids in joint ventures that benefit many people.