Sightsavers is a United States-based nonprofit that has established as its mission helping people avoid becoming blind due to avoidable causes. They work in very poor areas where they provide treatments for those suffering from cataracts. They also provide treatments for those who have developed tropical diseases that negatively affect the eye such as trachoma and river blindness.
Additionally, the team at Sightsavers educates the general public about the rights that disabled people have. They also offer disabled people services such as helping children with disabilities attend school as well as providing vocational training. In addition to working with people individually they also partner with governments so that people have access to things like clean water so that the odds of getting a tropical disease are lessened. Much of their work takes place in Africa but they are also in rural areas of India and Pakistan.
Caroline Harper is the chief executive officer of Sightsavers. She recently held a TED Talk where she focused on trachoma. Trachoma is an eye disease which results in people losing their sight. When someone develops this disease their eyelid turns inside out and so every time they blink their eyelashes brush their eyeball. This becomes exceedingly painful and left untreated will result in blindness.
During her talk, Caroline Harper told people about the Audacious Project and invited all philanthropists to join in. The goal is to remove all disease from the world so that people live longer, healthier lives. Her organization’s efforts to eliminate trachoma has been one of the ideas highlighted by the Audacious Project.
Trachoma is the #1 cause of infectious blindness. Harper showed people during her TED Talk the dose pole Sightsavers personnel use as well as a pair of tweezers. Volunteers for Sightsavers use the dose pole to see how much medicine they need to give to each person who has trachoma. The tweezers were shown to represent how many people with trachoma pull out all of their eyelashes in order to stop the pain they cause. She also talked about how 190 million people are believed to be at risk of developing trachoma.
Sightsaver’s TED Talk proved to be very popular. TED is a global organization which gives people a way to see free online talks. The slogan of TED is “ideas worth spreading”. Common issues for TED Talks are those in science, technology, design, global issues, entertainment, business, and the arts.