Rotary provides free eye care and eye surgeries to needy people in developing countries

By Rotary Club Tiverton, Devon

Global Sight Solutions is a preventable blindness charity registered with
the Charity Commission in the 1990s by members of Guildford
Rotary Club, the objective being to work with Rotary Clubs in the development
world and together establish financially viable eye hospitals that
can provide a full range of free eye care to the world’s poorest.
It’s a 100% Rotary charity, and through the work it does, it’s part of
one of Rotary International’s seven focus areas. He can therefore
obtain generous grants to help fund its projects.
Rotarian Terry Blackler, one of Global Sight Solutions’ ambassadors,
recently spoke to the Rotary Club of Tiverton at the Hartnoll Hotel in
the ceaseless work of charity. “The mission of the Charité is to provide
free eye care and eye surgeries for the poorest in developing countries”
he told Rotarians, “and a donation of just £5 can enable the blind to see
Again”.
Eye problems can be caused by a variety of things: poor diet, vitamin A
deficiency, genetic problems, bad education, no drinking water and lack of
sanitation. The charity deals with preventable blindness, mainly cataracts
but also glaucoma. 650 million worldwide have vision problems but
for preventable problems, the number would be 50-60
million. A possible problem may be the high intensity radiation from the
sun that affects the eyes of young people.
Rotary clubs abroad (mainly in the Indian subcontinent and in Africa) have
providing the hospital building and maintaining it. They become themselves
support by having a pharmacy and wellness clinic. The money raised in
this country goes to the training of ophthalmic surgeons, transport and equipment for
perform the operations. The hospital must agree to perform
clinics. Recognition is given in the clinic to Rotary clubs who have
provided funding. It costs £90,000 to set up per hospital with £15,000
needed from clubs which can be augmented through a variety of grants for
£90,000.
During the first ten years, eleven clinics were established; by 2018 forty clinics. The
the number is now approaching sixty. Covid has not significantly affected
funding, but delayed progress and missed deadlines. Rising costs
materials and energy may affect progress in the future. Work is in progress
carried out in Nigeria, Uganda, Pakistan and Bangladesh with nearly
200,000 cataract operations per year. We have to go beyond that
number to actually reduce the problem.

Ways to get involved include becoming a fundraiser, donating as
individual or a club or become an ambassador. The charity’s website
provides more information: www.globalsightsolutions.org
Terry was thanked for a very informative presentation by the acting club
President Geoff Smyth.
For more information about the Rotary Club of Tiverton, contact the Secretary,
Andrea Rowe, on rctiverton1175@gmail.com or on 01884 258820. The website
is at tinyurl.com/tivertonrotary and the Club is also on Facebook (“Rotary Club
of Tiverton’)


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