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HomeMetro NewsFight against poverty, avoidable blindness gets an ending push

Fight against poverty, avoidable blindness gets an ending push

… As Sightsavers relaunches thematic strategy

By Palma Ileye

In its global fight against poverty and avoidable blindness, an international organization, Sightsavers, has relaunced its thematic strategy to ensure that it reaches out to those affected and support the overall health system, approaches to eye health, deliver high quality education for visually impaired in their local context and ensuring their social inclusion as well as community participation and development.

Speaking during the event, held yesterday in Abuja, Country Director Sightsavers Nigeria Office, Dr Sunday Ishiyaku stated that as part of strategies towards achieving its goals, the organization has developed capacities by making investments in growth and learning to ensure that there are adequate resources to tackling a wide range of complex diseases more innovatively and strategically premised on system strengthening to drive sustainability.

Ishiyaku noted that the strategy which was conceived as a five- year framework has four major change theme such as Health, Education, Social inclusion, Community participation and development as well as eye health programme.

He said that as an organization, it was working hard to prevent unavoidable blindness whilst also ensuring that those with disabilities participate equally in the Society.

“We are a global organization working in more than 30 countries in African and Asian continents to prevent avoidable blindness whilst ensuring that those with disabilities participate equally in the society.

“Sightsavers started out as an international service delivery- oriented charity and this was the case until 2009 when it transited into an international development organization requiring that it looked at tackling a wide range of complex diseases.

“In the years covering the strategy (2009-2019), Sightsavers was committed to implementing its ambitious strategy that includes four major themes i.e eye health, education, social inclusion and community development and participation.

The Country Director explained that in the renewed global efforts to leave no one behind, “Sightsavers also initiated the Sustainable Development Goals (Agenda 2023), with the specific inclusion of an Neglected Tropical Diseases, NTD, target in SDG3.”

Launching the Sightsavers’ thematic strategy virtually, Vice President, Board of Trustees, Sightsavers, Professor Uche Amazigo pointed out that its essence was to achieve the vision of a world where no one is blind from avoidable causes and where people with disabilities could participate equally in the society.

She disclosed that research has shown that there were almost 2 billion people suffering from blindness or partial impairment and Nigeria was with the highest number in this group hence the need for this alliance, adding that “we should imagine a Nigeria with positive change in education, champions of Child Rights”.

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