In Pursuit of Equity

David de Wit
Photo: A female doctor provides an eye care examination for a female patient in Tanzania. Photo by David de Wit.

Wisely and from the start, founders and staff of the Seva Foundation knew to listen. We do now, as they did then. We listen to the local and international scientific/social/technical experts, we listen to one another, and most importantly – we carefully listen to the communities and individuals we serve. From listening, we can achieve a pathway to equity.

Equity has always been a stated core value for the Seva Foundation and continues to be the guiding light for our decision making.

Through our decades of service, we came to understand that women and girls were far less likely than men to receive treatment, and for severe vision loss, the inequity increases. With your contributions, sight-saving programs were developed, along with more healthy communities. Seva is here, driving change, unlocking local excellence to address the inequity. Regaining sight is transformative and it results in better futures, especially for women and girls.

The antidote to injustice is equity, and the mechanism for change is listening. Thank you for listening throughout the years and for supporting Seva to transform lives across the world.

A New Year brings a new opportunity to recommit to equity. Every day our staff, partners, and board of directors work tirelessly to ensure that one day, every child will wake up in a world where they have access to care for avoidable blindness.

Yours in service, 

Kate

Eye Care in the World’s Largest Refugee Camp

Photo: A Rohingya refugee camp in Cox’s Bazar District.
Photo: A Rohingya refugee camp in Cox’s Bazar District.

Today, as you and your family reflect on the changes our world is going through, know that your compassion has reached into one of the most forgotten places on Earth. 

Over the last decade, nearly one million Rohingya people have fled their homeland of Myanmar to escape what the UN refers to as the military’s ethnic cleansing. In late 2017, one of the worst human rights violations of the decade sent hundreds of thousands of women and girls, boys, and men into neighboring Bangladesh. Crammed into makeshift shelters in Cox’s Bazar district, the Rohingya refugees are one of the most densely packed populations on earth living in what is now the largest refugee camp in the world.

Upon reaching Bangladesh, the sheer number of Rohingya overwhelmed the local resources, resulting in a lack of access to clean water, sanitation, nutrition, shelter, and health care, including eye care. For the Rohingya, a lifetime without proper access to eyecare means  a high rate of preventable blindness and vision loss. According to our study, ten thousand refugees living in the area need cataract surgery today. Every year three thousand more will. On top of this, seventy-five thousand refugees need glasses.

Seva is committed to providing access to eye care in this region. 

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Do you know who trains the trainers?

Celebrating Excellence in Eye Care Training for 12 years in July, 2019.
Celebrating Excellence in Eye Care Training for 12 years in July, 2019.

There are millions of people in the world in need of eye care services and not enough trained eye care professionals to provide care. Your generous support enables us to provide critical training for ophthalmic support staff. These individuals are professionally trained vision care workers who assist ophthalmologists and optometrists with routine clinical or non-clinical activities. With their assistance, ophthalmologists can focus on more advanced and complex cases. Together, they can provide care to more people, more efficiently.

But who trains the trainers? How do we make sure the teachers are giving their students the best information across the board? Eyexcel is how.

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