Saturday, February 24 , 2018, 1:43 am | Fair 38º

 
 
 
 
Advice

SEE International to Celebrate World Sight Day, Honoring Pair of Spectacular Eye Doctors

On Oct. 8, SEE International will join the global health community in observing World Sight Day to raise awareness about avoidable blindness.

An estimated 285 million people worldwide suffer from visual impairment, and the World Health Organization reports that a staggering 80 percent of these cases could have been prevented or can still be cured.

Up to 90 percent of cases occur in developing countries, where trained ophthalmologists are rare and patients often cannot afford vision care.

Since 1974, SEE International has worked to create a world where everyone has access to vision care, regardless of who they are, where they live or their ability to pay.

Entire communities are affected by preventable blindness due to little more than circumstance. Through the support of our partners, the generosity of our donors, and the dedication of our volunteer medical professionals, well over 3.6 million people have had their eyes screened, and nearly half a million people have had their sight restored. 

“SEE has grown by leaps and bounds over this past year,” said Randal Avolio, president and CEO of the nonprofit. “Since its founding, SEE has been committed to providing critically needed eye care and is honored that our mission is echoed in this year’s World Sight Day theme.”

SEE invites everyone to participate in SEE’s World Sight Day Challenge. All donations received in October, up to $15,000, will be matched one-to-one by SEE’s board of directors.

In honor of the occasion, SEE has given two of its long-serving volunteer ophthalmologists Humanitarian of the Year awards.

David Michael Colvard, M.D., FACS, of Encino, Calif., has volunteered with SEE since 1997. He has been on a total of 18 humanitarian expeditions to Namibia, restoring sight to up to 300 men, women and children each time.

Diego Mejia, M.D., who hails from San Pedro Sula, Honduras, plays an integral role in SEE’s objective of training doctors worldwide to perform eye surgeries in the developing world.

Every year, he hosts a clinic where he teaches ophthalmologists the Manual Small Incision Cataract Surgery, or MSICS, a safe, quick, effective method of cataract removal that does not require state-of-the-art technology. Without his considerable help, SEE would not be able to send doctors to serve so many communities.

For more on SEE's World Sight Day efforts, go to donate.seeintl.org/wsd or contact Steve Bunnell at [email protected] or 805.963.3303.

— Stephen Bunnell is the communications coordinator for SEE International.

 
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