A Message from the Executive Director and Board Chair
If we had one word to describe Seva it would be transformation. Working with our global neighbors, our supporters, and our partners, we are transforming individual lives, communities, and healthcare systems in some of the world's most underserved regions.
Nearly 40 years ago, our founders asked how they could be of service, and this question still drives us forward today. In doing well by others, our lives are transformed too. As we reflect back on a year where over one and a half million people had their lives transformed through vital eye care services, we are humbled and thankful for your support. There is, however, much work to be done. A recent study in the Lancet Global Health projects a three-fold increase in global blindness by 2050. Reversing this trend will require exponential growth in our global partners' capacity to provide eye care and sustainable healthcare services. Through our nearly 40 years of creating sustainable partnerships and programs, we are prepared to lead the required transformation.
Thanks to the tremendous generosity of a single donor, Seva Foundation received a bequest of over $25 million in 2017 to serve as our springboard in this effort to scale up our services. But we can't realize this transformational vision without ongoing support from people like you. It takes a village to plant the seeds of change and also to tend the garden; by working together, we can create a world that is free from avoidable blindness.
We have a proven model for treating vision loss and impairment. Let's transform lives by making it accessible to all.
Yours in Service,
See the impact your support made in the lives of the world's most vulnerable people last year
“Nowhere do I know of another group of people who have come so far in their efforts to deliver high quantity, high quality, low cost, conscious and compassionate service to their fellow beings.”
- Ram Dass, Seva Co-Founder and Honorary Lifetime Board Member
Because of you, 71,503 people struggling with vision loss received sight-saving surgery
Your support provided glasses for 105,815 people, allowing children to stay in school and adults to provide for their families
Last year, you helped facilitate the training of 216 clinicians specializing in cataract surgery, retina conditions, transplants, and more
Your generosity helped provide training for women to become health volunteers in their communities, reaching people in rural areas
The Doctor with One Million Patients
Dr. Kuzenza is a witness to human transformation everyday, because of his dedication to the Singida Regional Hospital eye department in central Tanzania.
Covering an area approximately the size of the state of West Virginia, Dr. Kuzenza is the only ophthalmologist working in the Singida Region. With Seva's support, his department is providing critical eye care services to more than one million people.
We are motivated to reach those in rural areas who cannot come to the hospital by themselves.
"We are motivated to reach those in rural areas who cannot come to the hospital by themselves," says Dr. Kuzenza. In the past, "we had not been able to conduct outreach activities due to lack of funding. With Seva's support, this is now possible and more people will be reached to receive treatment."
Dr. Kuzenza's eye unit is the third regional hospital that Seva supports in Tanzania. This approach is all part of a focus on providing comprehensive eye care services to as many Tanzanians as possible.
Bridging Gaps in Eye Care Through Telemedicine
In January 2017, a dedicated team of eye care professionals from New Mexico traveled to India to visit the Aravind Eye Care System, an ophthalmology center world renowned for its innovative service models.
Dr. Lindsay Marvel, an optometrist at Kewa Pueblo Health Corporation, has been working to increase access to eye care services for people living in remote areas of New Mexico. Along with Ali Prince, Seva's American Indian Sight Initiative Coordinator, and Dave Panana, Kewa's Health Director and board liaison, Dr. Marvel traveled to India to learn how to use telemedicine to reach underserved populations.
Telemedicine offers expert eye care to people in rural locations. An on-site clinician takes photos of the eye's anatomy; these photos are then analyzed in real time by an off-site ophthalmologist or optometrist, who immediately makes a diagnosis and prescribes follow-up care.
This system allows patients to receive a diagnosis, counselling, and follow up recommendations all at the same time, in their own community. Telemedicine also creates revenue for the on- and off-site clinicians, making eye care services more sustainable and helping communities become financially self-sufficient.
Increasing Access to Eye Care in Mexico
There are one million people suffering from cataract blindness in Mexico. The backlog for providing cataract surgery is huge and is getting larger every year.
...support local ophthalmologists in providing high-quality and cost-effective care to patients in need.
Seva volunteer ophthalmologist and Board member Dr. Marty Spencer recently traveled to Instituto Mexicano de Oftalmología in Querétaro, Mexico to teach more doctors to perform sight-saving surgeries. This Seva sponsored training course was designed to support local ophthalmologists in providing free eye care to patients who cannot afford the sight-restoring surgery they need.
The ophthalmologists came from all over Mexico, as well as from other countries in Latin America. This training will increase capacity to address the surgical backlog and end needless blindness that affects so many people throughout Latin America.
“We are warriors in this crusade against reversible blindness,” says Dr. Maria Lopez Vitolas, ophthalmologist. “We can train more hands, and more hands are more warriors that can change the world.”
Last year, your compassion helped provide 1,500,948 men, women, and children with eye exams and screenings in their communities.
With your help, 24 hospitals and primary eye care vision centers in Nepal were able to install electronic hospital management systems to improve volume and quality of services for 7.5 million people.
Because of you, 26 hospitals joined the Global Sight Initiative network in 2016-2017. Last year alone, these hospitals performed more than 84,000 cataract surgeries.
Thanks to our donors, 2017 was a year of significant growth for many Seva-sponsored programs and services. Gains in access, learning, and capacity were made, helping more people than ever before recieve life-changing cataract surgery and eye care services.
The expansion of primary eye care programs, such as at the Kewa Pueblo Health Corporation, improved access to vision services for people living in remote areas. These programs are breaking down barriers and improving quality of life for people with treatable vision loss.
2017 was a year of cross-institutional knowledge sharing, with teams travelling to Mexico, India, Nepal, and more. These partnerships and the data gained from on-site electronic management systems provided important learning, helping us refine many service programs.
The knowledge gained from our partners also facilitated capacity building, allowing Seva to expand the Global Sight Initiative network, and train more clinicians around the world.
Our work is made possible by the generosity of our donors
Through partnerships with compassionate supporters like you, and local eye care professionals, more than 1.5 million of the world's most vulnerable people received life-changing comprehensive eye care services in 2017.
Your contributions are at work in underserved communities, helping ensure the power of sight is within everyone's reach. When you give to Seva, you're supporting long-term, sustainable solutions ensuring marginalized communities have ongoing access to eye care.
This year, you helped raise $41,154,776, to restore sight and prevent blindness in isolated and resource-poor communities around the world. Thank you, from the bottom of our hearts!
Contributions - In Kind
Global Sight Initiative
Aids Eye Initiative
The financial information as of and for the year ended June 30, 2017 has been derived from Seva Foundation's 2017 financial statements audited by DZH Phillips LLP independent auditors. The condensed financial information should be read in conjunction with the 2017 audited financial statements and related notes. Contact Seva Foundation's office for copies of the complete audited financial statements.
Our hearts are full of gratitude for our committed supporters. A special thank you to the following individuals for all of their hard work!
Board of Directors
Vaughan Acton (Secretary)
Gary Barth, MD)
Kevin Clougherty, MHA, FACHE
Deborah Galardi (Vice Chair)
Yvette Joseph, MSW)
Lisa Laird, CFA (Chair of Board)
Tomás Magaña, MD, MA)
Doraiswamy Nagarajan, MA, MSc)
John Plowright, CFA (Treasurer)
Neal Shorstein, MD
Marty Spencer, MD, FRCSC
R.D. Thulasiraj, BSC, MBA
Honorary Lifetime Board
T Stephen Jones, MD
Dick Litwin, MD
Steve Miller, MD
Gullapalli N. Rao, MD, FACS