A note from Seva's Executive Director about COVID-19
Especially in developing countries, many children are blind due to preventable and curable conditions. According to the WHO (World Health Organization) estimates, there are maybe 1.4 million children who are blind.
Without sight, there is no possibility for a child to develop through education. It's very important that the child sees properly for his awareness of the world and then to learn, to cope with life.
In children, it's very important to treat them early because if you do it late, what happens is that the child may not benefit from the surgery.
For example, adult cataracts if you do on a 50, 60 years old, he might live another 10 to 20 years, but children if you do it at two years, he might live up to 70 years old. The number of blind years that you are going to save is much more.
Today, more than 90 million children and adolescents live with some form of visual impairment. Most of these kids live in areas of the world where even the most basic eye care services continue to be out of reach. Combatting child blindness is one of the most cost effective health interventions and kids who have their sight restored are given an average of 50 years of sight.
In less time than it takes to read this article, a child will lose their eyesight. One every minute. The child will likely be living in poverty, struggling for survival in one of the many parts of the world where access to even the most basic of eye care services continue to be out of reach.
"Just thinking about the kids out there that can't see, I just couldn't imagine not being able to see and I really hope that I can help change that for a lot of kids," says Nikolas.
Seva is excited to announce the launch of our new Buy a Frame, Help a Child to See program in partnership with the eyewear brand Bio Eyes. Through sales from this line of eco-friendly eyewear, Bio Eyes will support Seva's efforts to screen the eyes of 200,000 school children in India.
For nearly 20 years, Seva has been dedicated to building sustainable pediatric eye care programs in Cambodia - programs that provide sight-saving care to children in need throughout the country.
If you have the opportunity to travel to Nepal, a country where 33% of the population is under the age of 14, you will surely notice the smiling faces of children everywhere you go. You may also notice that very few of these children are wearing eyeglasses.
A nervous mother brought her nine-year-old daughter Wendy to a Seva-sponsored outreach screening camp, hoping the doctors could restore sight to her blind eye. Five years ago, Wendy had lost vision in her eye after accidentally being bumped in the head while playing with friends.
Your support of this innovative campaign made it possible for Seva to train 40 teachers in Cambodia who are screening the eyes of 29,000 students for visual impairment. These efforts are identifying children who need of glasses and sight-saving medical care, like sweet 7-year-old Bopha who is featured in this video.
This past February, a rural school in Cambodia experienced firsthand how the support and compassion of Seva donors, combined with a few dashes of serendipity, changed the lives of the students and teachers forever.
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