OneSight Volunteers Give the Gift of Sight to Eight Millionth Patient With the Help of Sightsavers

GUNJUR, THE GAMBIA— OneSight volunteers and doctors today reached an important milestone by providing clear vision to Marokey Camara, the eight millionth patient to receive the gift of sight since the global charity was founded in 1988. Marokey received vision care during OneSight’s first Clinic in The Gambia, conducted in partnership with Sightsavers.

A mother of four, 35-year-old Marokey had never worn glasses. She works as a gardener and told Clinic doctors her blurry vision made it challenging to work, cook and thread a needle. Her new eyewear allows her to see everything clearly. She said to volunteers, “I am very happy and grateful to you for changing my life. I can now do anything!”

“We’ll never forget the expression on Marokey’s face when she received her new glasses,” said David Berumen, OneSight Clinic Manager. “The fact that we are sharing this significant patient care milestone with our partners from Sightsavers makes it even more special.”

The Gambia Clinic is the first in a three-year partnership between Sightsavers and OneSight. Combining the strengths of both global vision care charities allows residents access to sustainable and essential vision care through existing eye care centers as well as supporting up to 15 new centers that will be established throughout the country.

In preparation for this Clinic, OneSight volunteers and doctors have worked alongside local optometrists and optometric technicians to provide training in refraction and eyewear manufacturing. Following the Clinic, OneSight will continue working with Sightsavers to strengthen existing primary eye care centers in the area.

“This two-week Clinic is the beginning of an ongoing effort to help thousands more like Marokey have their vision restored to live independent, productive lives,” said Romano Albertazzi, Head of Sightsavers Italia. “We are proud to continue to provide the kind of high quality care found at OneSight’s temporary Clinics to residents in The Gambia through our eye care centers, which will be open year round.”

“Our partnership with Sightsavers and The Gambian government makes it possible to sustain vision care in these local communities and help even more people in need,” said Greg Hare, Executive Director of OneSight. “Helping our eight millionth patient is an important milestone on our journey to help millions more who suffer from uncorrected refractive error and other vision impairments. It is through partnerships like these that we must all work together to help solve the global vision crisis.”

The Gambia OneSight Clinic in partnership with Sightsavers concludes on July 1. Follow the Clinic’s activities on the blog , Twitter ( @onesightorg and the hashtag #onesight8) and on the OneSight Facebook page.

Notes About OneSight...
OneSight, a Luxottica Foundation, is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization in the U.S., dedicated to improving vision for those in need worldwide through outreach, research and education. Since 1988, OneSight outreach efforts have helped more than eight million people around the world see more clearly. OneSight research and education efforts have granted millions towards research and education. Luxottica, a global leader in eyewear, provides inspiration for OneSight and it is the organization’s main sponsor.

Notes about Sightsavers...
1. Sightsavers is a registered UK charity (Registered charity numbers 207544 and SC038110) that works in more than 30 developing countries to prevent blindness, restore sight and advocate for social inclusion and equal rights for people who are blind and visually impaired.
2. There are 39 million blind people in the world; 75% of all blindness can be prevented or cured.
3. Every sixty seconds another child loses their sight; only 2% of children who are disabled in the developing world attend school
4. In the six decades since its foundation, Sightsavers has:
  • Treated over 206.8 million people for blinding and potentially blinding conditions
  • Carried out over 7.1 million operations to restore sight
  • Trained almost 0.5 million primary eye care workers
  • Carried out rehabilitation training to 91,000 people