World Sight Day 2016 was successfully concluded with this year’s commemorative efforts, which began with a walkathon from Viharamahadevi Park to Independence Square.
The drive was initiated by the Health Ministry in collaboration with So Others May See (SOMS), College of Ophthalmologists of Sri Lanka and Etisalat Lanka with Sri Lanka’s Vision 2020 goal of eliminating avoidable blindness in Sri Lanka.
Simultaneously, to the walkathon, a series of eye care clinics were conducted to examine the public for visual disabilities as well as screening and registrations for free cataract surgeries.
The cataract surgeries and distribution of spectacles to those in need took place at the Pinwatte Maha Viharaya in Kalubowila, where 639 of individuals received free spectacles and 100 cataract surgeries were conducted.
As a leading corporate in the country, Etisalat is committed to giving back to the community they operate in and will continue to focus on driving more meaningful community development projects over the coming years.
The ‘072’ network has been in Sri Lanka for over 25 years and felt an initiative to conduct a sustainable corporate social responsibility (CSR) campaign of this nature would truly benefit the people of Sri Lanka.
This project has helped identify communities in need and has broadened the brand’s previous efforts in distributing free spectacles, which took place annually during local religious festivals.
Sri Lanka has a population of 20 million out of which approximately over one million suffer from low vision. Of these, around 150,000 people are believed to be blind.
Although cataract is commonly related to aging, it can develop at birth or due to eye injuries and prolonged diseases.
Cataract refractive errors, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy and blindness are also main causes of blindness and vision impairment.