From Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown

Local News
In Sierra Leone, Standard Chartered Partners with Sight Savers, Volunteers to Save Sights
By Bampia Bundu
Sep 6, 2010, 13:49

In pursuance of its strong history of supporting the communities in which it operates with recognition of their corporate social responsibility, Standard Chartered Bank on Saturday 4th September 2010 undertook Employee Volunteering activities at the Western Area Eye Clinic, Wallace Johnson Street in Freetown, facilitated by their Blindness Prevention Partner, Sight Savers International to support the bank’s “Seeing is Believing” global community initiative established in 2003; which is driven by Standard Chartered staff who fundraise, volunteer and raise awareness of avoidable blindness issues.


In her statement the bank’s Head of Corporate Affairs Kumba Ngongon noted that the “Seeing Believing” project works with leading eye care agencies to support projects that have an immediate impact on people’s lives and establish sustainable health care for the future. She said the programme supports Vision 2020 – “The Right to Sight”, a global collaboration bringing together the International Agency for Prevention of Blindness, the World Health Organization and international NGOs to eliminate avoidable blindness by the year 2020. She told patients at the clinic that the Bank is aware of the fact that Worldwide, there are more than 161 million people who are visually impaired; among them, 124 million have low vision and 37 million are blind, adding that also another 153 million people suffer from visual impairment due to uncorrected refractive errors (near-sightedness, far-sightedness or astigmatism). She informed them that virtually all these people could restore normal vision with eyeglasses or contact lenses.


Madam Ngongon moreover stated that up to 75% of all blindness in adults is avoidable through prevention or treatment, saying infectious causes of blindness are decreasing globally as a result of public health action.  She also stated that significantly, the number of people affected by blinding trachoma has decreased from 360 million people in 1985 to approximately 80 million people today.  “All these are being achieved through the invaluable efforts of our blindness prevention partners including Sight Savers International in ensuring the continued decrease of visual impairment in the world and in Sierra Leone,” she disclosed.   She said itv was in furtherance of the bank’s strong history of supporting the communities in which it operates and recognizes its capacity for social and economic contribution, the need to protect the environment and be an example of good governance.

 

Delivering a brief statement, the Country Director for Sight Savers International Mr. Abdulai Musa Koroma commended Standard Chartered Bank for their support in helping the people of Sierra Leone.  He said with support from the Bank and government, Sight Savers has eye clinics in Bo and Kenema to help save sights. He thanked the bank for their continued partnership with them, while appealing to them to continue supporting the initiative as their support meant a lot to the people of this country



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