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World Sight Day Marks Bright Future for Seva Foundation
and Global Blindness Prevention
Fresh from the Clinton Global Initiative and in its 30th year of service, Seva Foundation
emerges as leader in global blindness prevention
BERKELEY, CA (October 9, 2008) Today, Seva Foundation joins the global health community in
observing World Sight Day to raise awareness about blindness, which ranks among the most
debilitating yet preventable of public health issues.
While approximately 314 million people worldwide suffer serious vision impairment, the World Health
Organization reports that the overwhelming majority of those cases—75%—could have been
prevented or can still be cured. Of those cases, 90% occur in the developing world.
For thirty years, Seva Foundation has been a pioneering force in innovative eye care and continues
to lead the fight against preventable blindness through its unique Global Sight Network, which
supports high quality, self-sustaining community based eye care programs targeting the world’s
poorest populations throughout Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Middle East.
"Seva has a well-earned reputation for creating innovative, sustainable programs that benefit some
of the world's most vulnerable populations,” said Mark Lancaster, Executive Director of Seva
Foundation. “The need for these programs has gotten so enormous, that we wanted to take our work
to the next level.”
Having recently unveiled its bold new sight campaign at the prestigious Clinton Global Initiative
(CGI), Seva Foundation has been a major player in pushing blindness into the forefront as a global
health and development priority. At CGI, Seva committed to a plan that will revolutionize eye care in
the developing world to ensure that by 2015, an additional one million blind people receive sightrestoring
cataract surgery each year.
”Building up to CGI, we at Seva dug deep into our collective experiences as field workers, advocates
and public heath experts to develop a new, specific and measurable approach to the global
challenge of blindness,” said Dr. Suzanne Gilbert, Director of Seva’s Center for Innovation in Eye
Care. “We are thrilled with the outcome from CGI and can’t wait to begin this new campaign!”
As a result of its strong showing at CGI, Seva will launch its new campaign designed to improve eye
care on several different fronts. The campaign will develop an eye care workforce and leadership,
especially with women. It will also transform 100+ community eye care facilities through business
development, build smart technology and innovative research and lead regional and global advocacy
campaigns to raise awareness around the issues of eye care and gender equity.
For more information about Seva's So One Million Eyes See Again campaign, please visit:
About Seva Foundation
Seva Foundation is most widely known for its innovative eye care programs in Asia and Africa, which
have helped nearly three million blind people to see again through affordable cataract surgeries. In
Guatemala and Mexico, Seva works with indigenous communities to provide the tools and training
needed to sustain clean water systems, health care, and educational opportunities. Here in the U.S.,
Seva partners with Native American communities that are committed to building healthy communities, sustaining cultural values, and protecting the environment.
For more information, please contact:
Aaron Simon, Communications Manager
510-845-7382 x333 email@example.com
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