Leading the charge against eye disease and other neglected tropical diseases is an organization committed to bringing change around the world. Sightsavers, a non-governmental organization, is dedicated to treating blindness and promoting equality and inclusion for those with disabilities.
The organization recently launched a research center as well as a website to provide resources for other researchers, academics, and policymakers who are interested in eye health.
The website offers an extensive library of Sightsavers research activities as well as current and future projects. Additional information can be found in publications the site hosts as part of Sightsavers project to study the resources needed for marginalized groups to have access to adequate eye care.
Another key component of the website is the evidence gap maps provided by Sightsavers. The maps are an innovative tool that highlights evidence around specific areas of work, and details where gaps exist so that researchers can better serve the communities they’re helping.
These maps also assist with making health care systems more inclusive, as they show the particular demographics that affected by poor health care options. Not to mention information and updates on Sightsavers current and future projects including a study of medical practitioners in rural India and assessments of eye-health systems in Sub-Sahara Africa.
Director of Research, Elena Schmidt is excited and proud of the research center’s website. She hopes that the online research center will help others access to research projects and findings in order to find solutions for some of the world’s health problems.
Sightsaver’s research center is driving the organization forward into new territory. As of June 2017, Sightsavers was awarded Independent Research Organization status by the Research Councils of the United Kingdom. This makes Sightsavers the only international NGO to hold this status.
The IRO status also means that Sightsavers can conduct more extensive and comprehensive research. IRO status allows Sightsavers to apply for grants from at least seven UK research councils including the Medical Research Council and the Economic and Social Research Council.
Sightsavers is changing the world, through their dedication to eradicating preventable blindness, tropical diseases, and seeking to include marginalized groups in health studies, Sightsavers is becoming a lifeline, many people didn’t know they had.
Sightsavers, founded in 1950 by Sir John Wilson, has to date treated more than 295 million people against onchocerciasis also called river blindness. The charity has also treated 43 million people with antibiotcs for trachoma, and performed over six million cataract operations.